Dior Exhibit at Glenbow

Dior Exhibit at Glenbow
Dior Exhibit at Glenbow
7 Fashion Details To Look For

Dior Exhibit at Glenbow

Keep an eye out for these seven fine details as you explore the exhibit at Glenbow that’s bringing fashion lovers to the city

When we think of the revolutionary designs of Christian Dior, images of luxury, elegance, and class all become etched in our minds. Dior was best known for changing the trajectory of women’s fashion after World War II with the introduction of The New Look. As fashion conformed to social trends and the events of the world economy, World War II transformed garments styles and designs. To supply the war exertion, fabric was rationed and women had to adapt to managing with less. Although the War ended in 1945, women's fashion was still a masculine militant look.

In 1947, Dior debuted his first collection (Corolle and En 8) showing off his controversial New Look. The new silhouette featured rounded shoulders, a fitted waist, and flaring at the hips into a straight or streaming skirt that dropped to underneath the calf, giving women a figure eight shape. Initially, there was a lot of push back because many people viewed his excessive use of fabric offensive to those still impacted by the war.

Dior saw it as a fin de siècle and continued to push his designs forward and eventually they were accepted by protesters. More than seven decades after its creation, the New Look continues to inspire the fashion industry.

You can see some of these designs in the Christian Dior Exhibit situated at the Glenbow Museum. The exhibit highlights pieces from the initial 10 years of the brand designed by Dior himself.

While the full exhibit is beautiful, the details you can find in the iconic fashion, jewelry, and perfume products are what you really need to see to appreciate.

Rose France evening gown (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Rose France evening gown (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Rose France evening gown

The delicately draped silk petals on the Rose France evening gown pays homage to Dior’s youth. Pink and floral details were used throughout his collections to preserve the spirit of his home, Villa Les Rhumbs. His childhood experiences, as do many of ours, left an everlasting effect on him. Through design, Dior was able to explore his other passion, flowers and gardens. The mere image of the Rose France sparks positive memories of my childhood.

Nocturne dinner dress (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Nocturne dinner dress (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Nocturne dinner dress (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Nocturne dinner dress (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Nocturne dinner dress

Beaded buttons of the Ajax suit (Photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Beaded buttons of the Ajax suit (Photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Ajax suit (Photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Ajax suit (Photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Ajax suit

The structure of the Ajax suit commands attention, which is fitting as the name suggests that the wearer is ready to seize the day. The suit was architected as a feminine remix of a men's suit and the most notable detail is the beaded buttons. At first glance, they’re a bit shy, but upon second look the buttons quickly introduce themselves before you get better acquainted with the rest of the suit. The buttons resemble a cluster of black crystals. Spiritually, black is a protective color that makes you feel secure, brave, and physically powerful.

Palmyre dress (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Palmyre dress (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Embrodery details of the Palmyre dress (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Embrodery details of the Palmyre dress (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Palmyre dress

Elaborate detail and precision illustrate the art of embroidery. Dior may have decided to use this hand embroidered design in his collection because of the curvilinear floral and foliate forms. The sequins and beads on the Palmyre dress are secured by chain stitches that were made utilizing a crochet hook. This technique is referred to as Luneville embroidery. It turned out to be extremely popular as French fashion required an ever increasing number of vigorously beaded articles of clothing and trimmings. Fun fact: the Palmyre uses cellulose pulp sourced from hemlock trees in Prince Rupert, British Columbia!

Ribbon features on Soirée Romantique dress (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Ribbon features on Soirée Romantique dress (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Soirée Romantique

Who would’ve guessed that one dress could help sustain the ribbon industry? Mr. Dior did. At the time Soirée Romantique was constructed, only a handful of ribbon companies remained due to the industry crumbling in World War I. Instead of standing by and allowing the artistry to disappear with time, Dior intentionally designed dresses that utilized and relied on their services.

Y shaped waist on Zémire (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Y shaped waist on Zémire (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Y shaped waist on Zémire (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Y shaped waist on Zémire (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Zémire

Like many of Dior’s pieces, the crossed Y shaped waist on Zémire will leave potential buyers questioning why Dior would have designed it that way. Ideally, you would think that the crossed Y line would be situated in the back of the dress to accentuate the waistline. Surprisingly, by placing it on the front, Dior does not take away from the form fitting attributes of the piece. Furthermore, he maintains the cinched waist effect with the addition of a built in corset. Initially, Dior presented this dress in black, however, the buyer purchased it in red. She clearly had faith that Dior's designs would still translate well. I think she made a great decision as the red makes the details such as the parachute-like fullness of the skirt appear more prominent. Moreover, the vibrant color choice lets us know the buyer exhibits confidence

Caracas late afternoon gown (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Caracas late afternoon gown (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Shawl collar on Caracas gown (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

Shawl collar on Caracas gown (photo: Tanisha Cherry)

The Caracas late afternoon gown is a homage to Dior’s first boutique outside of Paris. The Aléoutienne texture and shawl collar stand out the most. The shawl collar rounds the shoulder and frames the neck, coinciding with the ‘New Look’. Unlike Zémire, the front facing buttons are both decorative and functional.

By
Tanisha Cherry

Tanisha Cherry is a fashion enthusiast with an appetite for exploring cultures, aesthetics, and lifestyles from across the globe.