Most fashion exhibits I’ve attended in the past are, well, all about the fashion. The ROM’s Christian Dior exhibit however was a curation that provided a springboard for discussion on gender, mass consumption and our current political climate.
Coinciding with Dior’s 70th anniversary, the exhibit focused on the French couturier’s foundational years from 1947 to 1957, when women’s fashion reflected a post-war modernity. This was the period when the designer presented his collection known as the “New Look,” which focused on an overtly feminine silhouette – soft shoulders, cinched waist, accentuated hips and full skirts. The “New Look” stood in contrast to wartime attire, when clothing was seen as functional, masculine and uniform.
While the exhibit was (much) smaller than the 70th anniversary exhibit in Paris, we did get to see 38 haute couture dresses that are a clear inspiration for a lot of the dresses we see today on the runways. The exhibit also features original fragrances, jewelry, shoes and a much closer look at the textiles. Here’s a peek inside the exhibit! (Sorry the images are terrible…lighting wasn’t the greatest but I tried my best.)