Summer is winding down, and fall events are taking shape. While travels and fashion magazines offer us endless ideas, sometimes we just need to explore our own backyard. If inspiration has yet to hit you, might we suggest the Dallas Museum of Art retrospective of the celebrated Haute Couture House and legendary designer Christian Dior? Dallas hosted the only Texas venue, and we were called on for the opening night gala to provide equally elegant tabletops to match this epic exhibit. Trust us, Dior: From Paris to the World, is a showstopper not to be missed.
The Dallas Design Connection
So, why Dallas? Of course, we’re known for having a thing for lavish designs, luxurious fabrics, and unique details. However, the real reason for the exhibition is Christian’s lifelong friendship with Stanley Marcus. In 1947, Christian recalled in his autobiography, he had to “cross the ocean and enter a new world.” That year, he came to Dallas to accept the prestigious Neiman Marcus Award for his distinguished contribution to fashion. (Yves Saint Laurent would receive the same award in 1958 while at the House of Dior). Dallas has always celebrated Dior with much fanfare, and several garments from the 1954 H line collection are prominently featured in the exhibition.
Taking in the massive display of artistry by the House of Dior, it’s easy to see how an art gallerist and fashion illustrator turned haute couture designer generated an epic movement of historical fashion. The exhibit feels like an event in and of itself, with endless themes and rooms that cover each designer of the fashion house. As seen in their wearable art, you’ll be just as inspired by the designers’ exotic travels, nostalgic landscapes, and the power of color.
Haute Couture in Dallas
Even if you had the chance to see this exhibit elsewhere, Dallas has a few unique twists up her sleeve. Walking into the first installation, you’ll notice the glamorous New Look shapes and silhouettes, as well as an artfully crafted space that puts you in the center of the Dior universe. Several pieces are juxtaposed with the DMA’s specific art collections. Think of a Marc Bohan Dior gown from the 1980s beside a Jackson Pollock, or the floral dialogue of Monet next to a Georgia O’Keeffe. Or paintings of prominent local collectors next to the more modern interpretations of Dior from John Galliano and Raf Simons.
We don’t want to spoil too much for you, but the DMA’s dramatic Barrel Vault has major couture you won’t want to miss. Picture a stately corridor that feels very churchlike, decked out in stunning pieces like Rihanna’s modern-day princess white ball gown, and you’ll have a good idea of exactly what you’re in for.
While each section of the exhibit is a feast for the eyes, a favorite was the current head of the House of Dior (and first woman) Maria Grazia Chiuri. Think modern fairytales seen through a new, modern lens to keep the dream of Dior realistic, yet enchanting. These are the themes we see moving towards us in 2020. The colors, landscapes, and timeless style will surely be reflected in the layers of tabletop for upcoming events and weddings.
We were left inspired by the women each of the House’s legendary designers dressed, from the classic looks of Grace Kelly to modern muses like Jennifer Lawrence and Lady Gaga. Dior said, “My dresses make a princess of every woman.” That statement is certainly on display at the DMA. You have until September 1st to see it for yourself. It will have you dreaming of what to wear—and where—this upcoming society season.
Photo courtesy of Tamytha Cameron Photography| DMA Dior Opening Luncheon | POSH Stylist: Jami Goetze