Extended until September 26, 2021

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Christian Dior

This major exhibition on Christian Dior explores the brilliance behind Dior’s dramatic creations that revived the entire Parisian haute couture industry after the devastation of the Second World War. In 1947, the opening of the new couture house and the revolutionary “New Look” swept away the wartime masculine silhouette, making Christian Dior’s postwar fashions desired, worn and copied by women around the world.

Drawn from the Royal Ontario Museum’s extensive collection of Christian Dior couture, complemented by a dozen garments from the McCord Museum’s Dress, Fashion and Textiles collection as well as loans from Dior Héritage, Paris, the exhibition focuses on the period from 1947 to 1957 and offers a captivating insight into the creative process and the mechanics of the Parisian haute couture industry during the 1950s. It examines Dior’s iconic lines, luxury textiles and romantic embroideries that laid the foundation for the fashion house’s global success. Featuring breathtaking fashions from daytime to evening wear for grand occasions, the exhibition invites visitors to discover the exquisite craftsmanship, intricate detail and inspired luxury designs by this key figure from the Golden Age of haute couture.

  • Formal evening dress, <i>Isabelle</i>, Christian Dior, 1948. Gift of Mrs. David Meltzer. ROM 961.136.1 © Royal Ontario Museum
  • Cocktail dress, <i>Delphine</i>, Christian Dior, 1956. Gift of Mrs. Harry Davidson. ROM 961.87.3 © Laziz Hamani
  • Two-piece garden party dress, <i>Avril</i>, Christian Dior, 1955. Gift of Mrs. Philippe Hecht. ROM 962.18.A-B © Laziz Hamani
  • Evening dress, <i>Palmyre</i>, Christian Dior, 1952. Gift of Mrs. and M. James Boylen. ROM 970.286.3 © Laziz Hamani
  • Evening jacket, <i>Pondichéry</i>, Christian Dior, 1948. ROM 2010.38.1 © Laziz Hamani
  • <i>Auteuil</i>, Christian Dior, 1949. Gift of Kathrine Cleaver. ROM 2014.62.54.1-2 © Laziz Hamani
  • Evening dress, <i>Cygne Noir</i>, Christian Dior, Fall-Winter 1949 Collection. Gift of Margaret Rawlings Hart, M967.25.9.1-3 © McCord Museum
  • Evening dress, <i>Ombre</i>, Christian Dior, Fall-Winter 1948 Collection. Gift of Margaret Rawlings Hart, M967.25.89.1-3 © McCord Museum
  • Afternoon dress, <i>Mirza</i>, Christian Dior, Spring-Summer 1951 Collection. Gift of Honor G. Nesbitt, M973.127.7.1-3 © McCord Museum
  • Day suit, <i>Virevolte</i>, Christian Dior, Fall-Winter 1955 Collection. Gift of Helen Holt Gauthier, MMQ 1994.01.02AC © McCord Museum
  • Day suit, <i>Pentecote</i>, Christian Dior, Spring-Summer 1950 Collection. Gift of Dorothy C. Lindsay, M966.96.15.1-3 © McCord Museum
  • Afternoon dress, <i>Bonne nouvelle</i>, Christian Dior, Spring-Summer 1949 Collection. Gift of Margaret Rawlings Hart, M967.25.72 © McCord Museum
  • Late afternoon dress, <i>Topaze</i>, Christian Dior, Fall-Winter 1951 Collection. Gift of Margaret Rawlings Hart, M967.25.87.1-2 © McCord Museum

Discover the exhibition through the eyes of our visitors! Comments given on September 24, 2020.


Live virtual opening of the exhibition on September 23, 2020 hosted by Rebecca Makonnen. With Cynthia Cooper, Head, Collections and Research; Curator, Dress, Fashion and Textiles, McCord Museum, Alexandra Palmer, Senior Curator, Nora E. Vaughan Fashion Costume Curatorship, Royal Ontario Museum, and Pascale Grignon, Director, Marketing, Communications and Visitor Experience, McCord Museum.

What people are saying about it

« A breath of fresh air and beauty that we adore! » Nabi-Alexandre Chartier, ICI Radio-Canada TV
« It’s an epoch done full justice at the McCord Museum in Christian Dior » Ian McGillis, Montreal Gazette
Exhibition produced by the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
Exhibition presented by
Major Partners

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