An Inside Look at “Dior: From Paris to the World”

An Inside Look at “Dior: From Paris to the World”

“To reach Dallas, Texas, I had to cross the ocean and enter the New World,” said Christian Dior, of his visit to Texas where he traveled in 1947 to receive the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion.

It’s been over 70 years since this historic visit and now because of the historic relationship with visionary Stanley Marcus, Texas natives can buy a ticket to view the work of a pioneer and those that succeeded him. As a heaven beyond your wildest dreams and a wonderland of haute couture, here’s what you can expect from the exhibit, “Dior: From Paris to the World”. 


Revolutionary New Look

When Christian Dior unveiled his first collection in 1947, he introduced his own unique vision of femininity for the postwar era with cinched waists, voluminous skirts at new lengths, and sexy busts . The Revolutionary New Look provides a look at this collection and those that came after it. The collection was famously titled “The New Look” by Harper’s Bazaar editor in chief Carmel Snow.  “It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian! Your dresses have such a new look!” exclaimed Snow. Look out for the Bar Suit, a pleated wool skirt and silk shantung jacket with a 19-inch waist. It was considered the most iconic look of the collection. 

The Bar Suit, shown middle right.

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Office of Dreams

Office of dreams shows the process of couture. Dior managed his house much like an orchestra from his studio, which he called the “office of dreams”. Dior sketched hundreds of sketches that would then be transformed into toiles (cotton muslin prototypes) and reviewed by the core team. It is here where the head of the atelier, Madame Carré, would ask the designer, ” Have I expressed you correctly?”

Sketch by Christian Dior, Haute Couture Fall-Winter 1949 / Embroidery Sample, approximately 1950

Prototypes in white muslin

Christian Dior: From Gallery to Haute Couture

It was in 1935 that Dior took up fashion illustration and found the great success that ultimately led him to open his own couture house at 30 Avenue Montaigne. In the prime of his career, Christian Dior passed away suddenly on October 24, 1957. His legacy lived on under the artistic directors who succeeded him and this exhibit showcases a foundation and voice for each of them.

Yves St. Laurent: The Little Prince of Fashion, 1958-1960

Marc Bohan: Classicism Revisited, 1961-1989

Gianfranco Ferré: The Postmodern Couturier, 1989-1996

John Galliano: The Storyteller, 1997-2011

Raf Simons: The Shapeshifter, 2012-2015

Maria Grazia Chiuri: The New Femininity, 2016-Present

From Paris to the World

Special Dior collections were created for different markets in Europe, the United States, North Africa, and Asia. For Dior successors, world art and cultures have been sources of inspiration and range widely from Seville and the Spain of Goya to colorful traditional clothing of Peru and Mexico. Some of the headpieces are from archives others are from British milliner Stephen Jones.

Ladies in Dior

Thirteen iconic looks seen around the world. Many worn by famous women who help carry on the wish of Christian Dior who said, “My dresses make a princess of every woman.”

Splendors of the 18th Century

Where the flamboyance of 18th century France meet modern life.

Total Look

Dior wanted a woman to leave his boutique dressed in head to toe Dior, make-up and perfume included. Dior provides the “total look”.

Fields of Flowers

With a love for gardening Dior designed his garden spaces around his homes as retreats conducive to creativity. He believed after woman flowers were the most divine creations. His signature flower was the lily of the valley flower.

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At one time Dallas was the place to be in the U.S. for fashion. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a fashionable revival for the lone star state and may it reign once again.

Dior: From Paris to the World will be on view through September 1st at the Dallas Museum of Art. Tickets are sold online and should be purchased ahead of time. Due to the popularity of the exhibition all  visits are timed.

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Crystal Martinez
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A lover of vintage, Crystal is known for her unparalleled curation, styling, and buying power of 20's, 30's, 40's and other vintage decades. A current resident of San Antonio, Texas, Crystal enjoys offering her skills to private clientele and has been a freelance fashion contributor for Style Lush TV for several years. She  believes fashion serves the soul and can take you on a journey. Whether it's a creative feeling from the past or an example of self expression in the present, fashion is transcendent.