I always say I am lucky to live in Tonawanda ~ NOT because of the cold weather ~ but because it's so close to other metropolitan cities. Just this past Sunday a friend and I took a road trip to Toronto to the Royal Ontario Museum for the Christian Dior exhibition. While not as big as we had hoped, there was lots of vintage dress eye-candy for the casual viewer that I'm going to share with you.
The pieces in this show were donated from Toronto's socialites or they were taken from the Royal Ontario Museum's permanent collection. The Christian Dior exhibit was on the top floor of the museum, also the smallest floor. It took up one large crowded dim room. (I'm guessing it was dim to not fade the vintage fabrics.)
There were cases of Dior accessories including shoes, jewelry, even perfume bottles lining the perimeter of the room, along with displays of hand embroidery work, sequin details, and fabric flourishes Dior utilized to make his work stand apart from the other designers. He really incorporated craftspeople from varying cultures to create his own style, and his eye for detail shows in his work.
"Some people will always wear a brooch in the same place. Another woman with fashion sense will pin it with a colored chiffon scarf, to the hip pocket of her suit - it will look marvelous and be twice as effective."- Christian Dior
In the center of the room were Dior dressed mannequins with visitor activated monitors to identify the clothing piece, some of the design concepts and pictures of the owner or the ad it was featured in. A TV in the corner was playing a video showcasing Dior haute couture at work. Since our timing seemed to be during peak visitor hours, we had to wait in line for the monitors and all of the seats in front of the TV were taken, but I did manage to capture some of the beautiful dresses on display. The large pedestals were divided into evening wear and day wear from 1947- 1957. Simply gorgeous designs!
One thing I wish they would have had was more signage to describe what you were looking at, and more history of Christian Dior and his pioneering "new look" design in fashion. If you didn't recognize the name, you would never learn anything about him from this exhibit. He was one of the first to incorporate built in crinolines and corsets into dresses and added innovative seam construction. His silhouette is the fit and flare curvy look we associate with the 1950s.
What do you associate with Christian Dior? You can leave a message in the comments below!