DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Art Museum has organized the first ever retrospective of the House of Dior in the United States. It’s took two years to put together Dior: From Paris to the World. It includes more than 200 dresses and spans 70 years of forward thinking in the fashion world.
“The House of Dior is a major fashion house,” said Florence Muller, the DAM’s Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and Fashion. “It’s a leader in terms of trends, new ideas and concepts.”
There are 15 sections, some are chronological and some are thematic. The exhibit moves from Dior himself through the seven artistic directors who followed him, each with their own vision of Dior’s style.
“The House was able to reinvent her own story through designers who were really in the zeitqeist of the moment,” Muller told CBS4.
Within the chronology, there are several stories being told, including Dior’s revolutionary philosophy of creating a “total look” for a woman.
“It’s the idea that Christian Dior had, really visionary idea, about offering all sorts of products, from shoes to hats, from costume jewelry to makeup, in order to have a global vision,” Muller explained.
Dior was also revolutionary in his quest to make fashion global. He was the first to market and sell his designs around the world, and to allow the fashion of the world to influence his designs.
“Gardens, flowers were very important. He was designing his collections in his gardens. He was very inspired by this,” Muller said.
One of Muller’s favorite pieces in the exhibit is a dress called Juno made in miniature.
“This dress, I think, is gorgeous because it’s decorated with petals. It’s really the idea of a flower, which is one of his main concepts,” she said.
It’s an important exhibit for the Denver Art Museum, because it was completely designed and curated by the museum. This is not a traveling show that is stopping Denver, the museum is the only place you can see this collection.
“With Yves Saint Laurent, we started to look as fashion as an art form,” said Christoph Heinrich, the Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the Denver Art Museum.
It comes at a good time for Downtown Denver, when convention and tourist traffic is in a lull. The museum has partnered with VISIT DENVER to offer 12 exclusive hotel packages which include “skip-the-line” tickets.
“We’re marketing it as a destination, a reason to come to Denver,” said Jayne Buck, Vice President of Tourism at VISIT DENVER.
As beautiful as the dresses are, they are equally beautifully displayed. DAM worked with architecture and design company, OMA out of New York to make the narrative of the garments, and the themes of the displays apparent to the viewer.
“One challenge is to create an immersive experience through architectural intervention without overwhelming the garments,” said Shohei Shigematsu, the OMA designer of the exhibit.
Dior: From Paris to the World runs Nov. 19 to March 3 at the Denver Art Museum.