Brooklyn Museum to welcome major Dior retrospective this fall
After successful runs in Paris, London and Shanghai, the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition touches down in New York this September, bringing over 200 haute couture garments to the Brooklyn Museum.
Presented in the Brooklyn Museum’s 20,000-square-foot Beaux-Arts Court, the retrospective explores Dior’s more than 70 years of history through a wide range of haute couture pieces, as well as archive photos and videos, sketches, accessories and vintage perfume elements.
Objects on display are mostly taken from the Dior archives and include garments exemplifying the French couturier’s iconic silhouettes, such as his famous “New Look”, which first hit the runways in 1947. The exhibition also explores the Dior brand’s varied sources of inspiration, which range from flowers to classical and contemporary art.
The central atrium of the Beaux-Arts Court has been transformed into an “enchanted garden” and visitors will also be able to discover a toile room, a tribute to Dior’s ateliers, and a series of adjacent galleries, including a final space displaying dresses worn by movie stars, from Hollywood legends, such as Grace Kelly, to more recent celebrities, like Jennifer Lawrence.
Curated by Florence Müller, Dior scholar and Avenir Foundation curator of textile art and fashion at the Denver Art Museum, in collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum’s senior curator of fashion and material culture, Matthew Yokobosky, the exhibition also features works from the Brooklyn Museum’s own collection.
New additions to New York’s version of Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams include works by major American photographers, including Lillian Bassman, Henry Clarke, David LaChapelle and Annie Leibovitz. In particular, there will be a special presentation of Richard Avedon’s famous Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, Paris, from 1955.
Dior pieces from Christian Dior and the creative directors that succeeded him at his brand, namely Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri, will also be displayed alongside objects from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection to create intriguing juxtapositions.
For example, a rare ten-panel ebonized FSW (Folding Screen Wall) (1946-55) by Charles and Ray Eames is shown with Dior designs from the same period. Elsewhere, drawings and studies by Judy Chicago accompany recent designs by Chiuri.
The exhibition will also feature Dior’s one-of-a-kind, 31-inch Fashion Doll 1880 (Afternoon Ensemble), which made the Brooklyn Museum the first U.S. institution of its kind to acquire a Dior when it entered its collection in 1949.
“As early as 1947, with his celebrated ‘New Look’ collection, Christian Dior transformed his sudden name recognition into the international expansion of his House, becoming a precursor of contemporary globalized fashion,” explained Müller in a release. “The opening of the first New York branch, in 1948, was a prelude to this worldwide fame. Following on from the presentation of Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams in Paris and London, the new exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum pays tribute to this unique historic fashion adventure initiated between Paris and New York.”
Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams runs at the Brooklyn Museum from September 10, 2021, through February 20, 2022. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Thursday, June 10, 2021.
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