I had the opportunity to cut out of work a little early on Friday and go see the Christian Dior exhibit, Designer of Dreams, with Maddie at the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibit is only in town through February 20th, so if you haven’t been and have a passion for fashion you should go asap. The exhibit is beautifully curated and experiential, featuring more than 200 garments, magazine covers, ads, audio and video clips and fantastic lighting and effects.
Dior was known for his tailoring and could be considered one of the most influential in elevating the hourglass silhouette. That shape was dominant through the exhibit, but importantly, is still prevalent through fashion today.
I paid a lot of attention to texture of the designs, looking for inspiration for quilting patterns. The ombre-like looks in the image above (left) reminded me of the numerous ombre fabrics we are seeing in quilting today. We still have Inferno by Gucy Giuce in the shop, along with two groups from V & Co. I loved the color in the middle image, and the striped skirt reminded me of some of the modern quilt design aesthetic and designers like Tula Pink and Kaffe Fassett. And the pleating in the dress to the right inspired me to do some very tight straight line quilting.
Speaking of texture, I would have been disappointed to not find a quilted dress. I know that is largely considered Chanel’s jam, but Dior has put out a few quilted pieces in their day. I was not disappointed with this red-hot number, Baiser Rouge, by Maria Grazia Chiuri. This silk satin dress was part of the Spring-Summer 2017 collection. It is absolutely gorgeous.
Like every good quilt shop, the Dior exhibit also had a fantastic color wall, called Colorama. Featuring amazing garments, shoes and accessories, it really highlighted how color can elevate any outfit. I wish this were my closet – then I would always have something to wear!
The majority of the show featured monochromatic looks ranging from soft and subtle shades to the boldest, most saturated colors you can imaging. But, don’t let that fool you. There were quite a few prints and embroidered looks, mostly from Maria Grazia Chiuri in more recent years, often with a wink and a nod or a sense of humor. I loved that these looks didn’t take themselves too seriously, and they got me thinking about ways to embellish my quilts. Looks above include Lise Deharme (white tuxedo with embroidered shirt), Constellations (featuring embroidery and hand painting), Numero 334 (a lacy number with embroidery, hand painting and applique), and Tarot (featuring embroidery and hand painting, and feathers in the tiara). I didn’t catch the deal on the floral print.
This piece is by John Galiano and is from Spring-Summer 2000. These are overalls in a newspaper print silk taffeta. To me, it inspires ideas around collage style quilts, and I love mixed media projects.
Beyond the amazing fashion, there was great staging. I didn’t get photos of the magazine covers, video walls, or photograph gallery walls, but I did snap these showing the architecture, lighting techniques, art, sky high exhibit wall, and fun mirror ceiling.
Christian Dior was an immense talent that built a leading fashion house that has remained constant since 1946 and launched the careers of numerous other tastemakers and designers that have shaped what we wear to this day. Dior died a sudden death in 1957 from a heart attack. I can only imagine what might have been.