First look: NGV’s House of Dior exhibition

The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture exhibition is only days away from opening at the National Gallery of Victoria. Here is your exclusive preview behind-the-scenes from the Dior Heritage archive.

140 garments will feature in the exhibition with designs ranging from 1947 to 2017. There will be pieces designed by Christian Dior plus subsequent designers who have reinterpreted his vision, including Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri, the current and first female creative director who presented her first ready-to-wear collection for the label in October, 2016.


The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture is a world premiere, exclusive to Melbourne and curated by the NGV in collaboration with Christian Dior Couture. The display is one of two major exhibitions in the world celebrating the seventieth anniversary of Christian Dior Couture.


Here are the 5 must see pieces:

1. Absinthe, long sheath dinner dress, designed by John Galliano
Famously worn by Nicole Kidman to the 1997 Oscars, this striking gown is from Galliano’s debut spring-summer 1997 collection for Dior and was considered a groundbreaking moment for red carpet fashion.

2. Essence d’Herbier, cocktail dress, designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri
A key look from Maria Grazia Chiuri’s debut couture spring-summer 2017 collection, this dress has been specially commissioned by the NGV for this exhibition and is made of delicately embroidered raffia and silk.

3. Versailles, pump, designed by Roger Vivier
Esteemed French shoe-maker Vivier worked with Dior from 1953 to 1963 and is the only collaborator in the House’s history to be a co-signatory on the Dior label. His name was stamped into the insoles of the shoes, alongside Christian Dior’s.

4. Mascarade, short evening dress, designed by Yves Saint Laurent
Mascarade is one of five dresses in this exhibition from Saint Laurent’s much-lauded Trapèze line. The collection marked a new era for the House and was inspired by contemporary culture. Created for a more youthful.

5. Look 27, evening dress, designed by John Galliano
Galliano’s autumn-winter 2010-11 collection paid homage to Christian Dior’s iconic Tulip collection of 1953. This dress features multiple layers of petal skirts and hand-painted organza detailing and is complemented by an evocative Stephen Jones tinted cellophane headdress.



The inaugural NGV Gala on Saturday 26 August offers guests exclusive first access to see The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture in a glamorous evening with red carpet arrivals, bespoke canapé menu, fine champagne and stunning haute couture.

The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture exhibition runs from August 27 to November 7, 2017. 

Tickets are available via


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