Out and About: Dior in Dallas

As a frequent visitor to the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), my eyes widen and mouth involuntarily dropped as I walked into the main lobby – which has been transformed beyond its familiarity. Dior is here, and Paris is officially in Dallas.

Opening to the public May 19, the DMA is pleased to present Dior: From Paris to the World, which surveys more than 70 years of the House of Dior’s legacy and global influence, after its successful debut at the Denver Art Museum. The exhibit features a selection of almost 200 haute couture dresses, accessories, photographs, original sketches, and other archival material.

Legendary couturier Christian Dior has generated a significant movement in fashion history since his debut collection. With lavish embroidery, luxurious fabrics, and elegant silhouettes, his designs were a revolutionary celebration of modern femininity when they emerged in Paris after World War II. Today, Dior’s global influence is as enduring and iconic as ever, and we get to experience it first-hand here in Dallas.

“The House of Dior has been a legendary force in fashion and visual culture for decades and continues to be an important influence that blurs the lines between fashion and art.” -Dr. Agustín Arteaga

Exploring and experiencing the exhibit is an adventure in itself. After entering through the facade of the Dior Paris atelier and the Revolutionary New Look that marks the beginning of the brand, you’re being taken through a tunnel leading to the first set of rooms to then emerge at the dramatic reveal of the Barrel Vault midway through the exhibition. This sequence is followed by three additional rooms that explore the themes that served as an inspiration to the house of Dior. It’s clear to see all the hard work and dedication that was put towards designing this exhibition.

The DMA is the only other US venue for this extensive and highly anticipated retrospective of the celebrated haute couture house, described by the Wall Street Journal as “an epic enterprise . . . timelessly elegant yet avant-garde.”

“The House of Dior has been a legendary force in fashion and visual culture for decades and continues to be an important influence that blurs the lines between fashion and art,” said Dr. Agustín Arteaga, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director. “Dallas has long recognized the artistic significance of Dior, most notably when in 1947, early in his career, Christian Dior traveled here to receive the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion. We are excited to welcome this innovative, creative voice back to our city and to offer DMA audiences the opportunity to be inspired by the remarkable legacy of a global icon.”

The museum can mount this major exhibition with loans from the esteemed Dior Héritage Collection, many of which have rarely been seen outside of Europe, with additional loans from major institutions. The presentation showcases pivotal themes in the House of Dior’s history and focuses on how Christian Dior cemented his fashion house’s reputation within a decade.

This exhibition profiles both Dior himself and subsequent artistic directors, including Yves Saint Laurent (1958–1960), Marc Bohan (1961–1989), Gianfranco Ferré (1989–1996), John Galliano (1997–2011), Raf Simons (2012–2015), and Maria Grazia Chiuri (2016–present), all of whom have carried Dior’s vision into the 21st century.

You’ll have until Sept. 1 to see the exhibit, but make sure to mark your calendars for June 2 – The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation is sponsoring two free Youth and Student Sundays to allow the young ones to experience this opportunity. For more information and other fun activities during this exhibit, check this out.

Due to the popularity of the exhibition and the high number of expected visitors, all visitors and DMA Members must have a timed ticket. The Tuesday–Thursday weekday ticket price for adults is $20 and tickets for Friday–Sunday are $25. From Paris to the World can be purchased in advance at DMA.org.

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