DAM Dior Display

When Christian Dior burst onto the Paris fashion scene in 1947, his designs caused an immediate reaction. Known as the New Look, Dior’s designs were a reaction against the more austere designs created during World War II. His long, flowing skirts and trim waistlines were a stark contrast to the shorter skirts and looser garments of wartime fashion that had to accommodate both fabric shortages and women’s newfound employment in factories. He’s credited with redefining the feminine silhouette and, for better or worse, his stamp on fashion and textile history is undeniable.


Christian Dior, Fanny. Celestial blue taffeta gala dress worn by Mrs. Elizabeth Firestone. Haute Couture Fall-Winter 1953, Vivante line. From the Collections of The Henry Ford [Museum?], gift of Mrs. Harvey Firestone, Jr. Inv. 89.492.342. Copyright Laziz Hamani

In honor of the ways in which the House of Dior has shaped and reshaped fashion throughout its 70-year history, the Denver Art Museum (DAM) is hosting the exhibit Dior: From Paris to the World. Curated by Florence Muller, the DAM’s Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and Fashion, the exhibit features over 200 couture dresses as well as accessories, costume jewelry, photographs, and other items of historical interest. The exhibit focuses not just on the designs of founder Christian Dior but also on those of subsequent artistic directors including such fashion luminaries as Yves-Saint Laurent and John Galliano.


Elizabeth Taylor wearing the Soirée à Rio dress and a pair of diamond and cultured pearl ear pendants by Ruser. Haute Couture Collection Spring-Summer 1961. Copyright Mark Shaw/mptvimages.com

Even if fashion isn’t your thing, the textiles on display promise to be world-class, including a silk brocade dress once owned by Princess Grace of Monaco (known to many of us as Grace Kelly), an embroidered mohair coat with fabulous ruffles that just make you want to touch it (do not touch it), and much more. The fabrics on display are sure to inspire just about any weaver (or knitter or sewist) with their bold use of texture, embellishment, and color.


John Galliano for Christian Dior. Embroidered mohair bouclette coat. Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2009. Dior Héritage Collection, Paris. Inv. 2010.20. Copyright Laziz Hamani

This is a ticketed exhibit, so make sure to buy your tickets and schedule your viewing well in advance if you plan on attending. More information on the exhibit can be found at the DAM’s website or by calling (720) 865-5000.

Happy Weaving!

Featured Image: Christian Dior with models, about 1955. Photo [by?] André Gandner, copyright Clémence Gandner

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