The Royal Ontario Museum’s Christian Dior Exhibit is Compact but Inspiring

The Christian Dior Exhibit will continue until March 18th at the ROM in Toronto. Here’s what to expect at the exhibit.

Christian Dior Exhibit

Photo Credit: Toronto Guardian

Who was Christian Dior?

Christian Dior, a prominent French fashion innovator, is renowned for establishing one of the world’s premiere fashion houses. In 1946, Dior created his fashion empire with the financial backing of Marcel Boussac, a notable figure in the cotton fabric industry. The inaugural collection, unveiled in early 1947, bore the name Corolle. The widely adopted term “New Look” was coined by Carmel Snow, the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar.

Dior’s designs departed from the austere World War II styles, characterized by fabric-saving boxy shapes. He embraced more voluptuous and architecturally structured creations. Faced with fabric rationing, Dior adeptly crafted shapes and silhouettes, famously stating, “I have designed flower women.” His signature aesthetically focused fabrics predominantly lined with percale, boned, bustier-style bodices, hip padding, wasp-waisted corsets, and petticoats imparted a pronounced curvature to his models.

Despite the acclaim, Dior faced criticism for the perceived lavishness of the fabrics used in his designs. During a photo shoot in a Paris market, vendors confronted the models over the extravagance, reflecting the lingering effects of wartime shortages. However, as these shortages subsided, opposition to Dior’s designs waned. The “New Look” revolutionized women’s fashion, reaffirming Paris as the epicentre of the fashion world post-World War II.

Christian Dior Exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum

Christian Dior Exhibit

Explore the brilliance behind Christian Dior’s dramatic creations that revived the Paris haute couture industry after the devastation of the Second World War in ROM’s original exhibition, Christian Dior, presented by Holt Renfrew. Senior Curator, Dr. Alexandra Palmer, draws from the ROM’s extensive collection from the first ten years of Christian Dior haute couture, 1947 to 1957, to offer captivating insights into the creative process and mechanics of the fashion industry in Paris during a pivotal time.

Celebrating the House of Christian Dior’s 70th anniversary, Christian Dior features a selection of breathtaking designs from daytime to evening wear for grand occasions, and explores how and why Christian Dior’s iconic lines, luxury textiles, and romantic embroideries laid the foundation for the global success of the fashion house.

Christian Dior Exhibit Photo Gallery

Christian Dior runs from November 25, 2017 to March 18, 2018 at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. For more information, visit

Christian Dior Exhibit

Have you seen the exhibit? Are you a fan of Christian Dior? Do you find great fashion inspires you to create in other mediums as it does for me? I’d love to know your thoughts on the exhibit and Christian Dior in the comments below.

For more info on local events, click here.
All photos and text by Art Departmental unless otherwise stated.

Posted by Rose Lagacé

Rose Lagacé is a production designer for film & television by day and an emerging filmmaker by night. Rose is also the creator and editor of Art Departmental where she celebrates the art and craft of production design.

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