Unmissable exhibition: “Dior: Designer of Dreams” dazzles at the Brooklyn Museum
Dior dazzles with an array of more recent and daring couture pieces and many iconic classics of the venerable house in the breathtaking exhibition with the appropriate title Christian Dior: Creator of Dreams, which just opened this week at the Brooklyn Museum. This unique event is the idea of Florence Müller, curator of textile art and fashion at the Denver Art Museum, in collaboration with Matthew Yokobosky, of the Brooklyn Museum, and Parisian exhibition designer Nathalie Crinière..
Opened in the wake of New York Fashion Week – we were treated to a first tour – it traces nearly seventy years of the exalted fashion house’s presence in New York through more than 200 different pieces. Unsurprisingly, many of the items included have been worn by prominent celebrities from the late Princess Grace to Jennifer Lawrence, and for that little extra cultural thrill, several of the pieces in the series have never been seen before by the public.
The timeline begins in 1947, with several of Monsieur Dior‘s early triumphs, and gradually moves through the work of the house’s creative directors, drawing a line to the artists who have most strongly influenced them. Think of Yves Saint Laurent, who was inspired by beatniks, and Marc Bohan, who favored the work of Jackson Pollock. Moving forward, the show shines a light on the extravagant artistic interests of John Galliano (Dior creative director from 1996 to 2011, when he was fired after a very public controversy), compared to the more refined tastes of Raf. Simons (2012 – 2015), who owns a collection of Sterling Ruby.
The exhibition is taken in the present via a video of the house’s current and first artistic director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, and barrier-breaking feminist artist Judy Chicago discussing The divine feminine, the architectural installation that served as the backdrop for the Dior Haute Couture Spring / Summer 2020 show.
Conceptually most striking are the models wearing some of Dior’s most iconic pieces, set amidst a periphery of paintings and photos by American artists who have captured some of the house’s famous fashions worn by models. and prominent celebrities. Richard Avedon’s iconic Dovima and the elephants is presented amid a collection of prominent photographs and prints featuring models dressed in the Corolla and In Eight lines, exhibited alongside several paintings, including those of Giovanni Boldini and Paul-César Helleu – the latter who was one of Christian Dior‘s most beloved artists himself. The works of portrait photographers like Annie Leibovitz, Herb Ritts and David Lachapelle are also in the spotlight in this vast, but intelligently edited, exhibition.
Accented by dramatic lighting, clever and innovative room placement and the sweeping open architecture of the museum’s central atrium, the Cour des Beaux-Arts, Christian Dior: Creator of Dreams is a must-have this fall for anyone interested in fashion, cultural history… or even the slightest aesthetic inclination. It lasts until February 20e 2022… but see it now, as the buzz still swirls around her.