Christian Dior's brief but supremely influential career began with his iconic 'New Look' in 1947. He reigned supreme in Parisian fashion for ten years until his untimely death in 1957.
This unique exhibition features Paris and London couture, many outfits recently acquired by the Gallery of Costume. Stunning displays include day, cocktail and evening wear, and represent many of Dior's seminal collections.
Display highlights include a ‘New Look’ outfit from Dior’s first celebrated ‘Corolle’ collection (spring/summer 1947) and a 1949 black ribbed silk cocktail dress, commissioned by the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson. Other significant items on display include the first Dior outfit donated to the Gallery of Costume in 1984. The dress, a 1956 black silk cocktail dress, was retailed by the famous Manchester fashion store, Samuels. (Samuels was one of the region’s most important high-end fashion shops until it closed in 1968.)
The show also features a printed lilac silk cocktail dress designed by the young Yves Saint Laurent, who joined the Dior fashion house in 1955 aged only 19, before replacing Christian Dior as Chief Designer after his untimely death in 1957. In addition, the exhibition provides the chance to see a green/silver ballgown on loan from the Harris Museum and Art Gallery and a slate blue cocktail dress, spotted in black, on loan from National Museums on Merseyside.
This exhibition takes place at Manchester Art Gallery’s sister venue, the Gallery of Costume at Platt Hall in Platt Fields Park, Rusholme. Just two miles south of the city centre, this lovely Georgian house showcases six centuries of British fashion from our extensive costume collection. Exhibits range from exquisite 17th and 18th century embroidered clothes and accessories to contemporary couture and high street trends, via Victorian opulence and wartime austerity.
Christian Dior with model Dorothy Emms, 1957, (c) 2004 TopFoto