Ephemeral architecture: the Dior exhibition in Melbourne

When I originally booked my flight to Canberra to join Karl for a wee break, we had every intention just to spend time in that part of the country. However, he spotted that a big exhibition about the fashion house of Dior was on in Melbourne, so what with that, and an opportunity to spend a couple of days in one of my favourite cities, we headed down there on Monday, celebrating our wedding anniversary at +39 Pizzeria, after fabulous gin and tonics at the well hidden Cold War themed bar, Berlin.

The entrance to Berlin, ring the bell and choose between East or West
Black squid ink pasta with octopus and pipis

But to the exhibition…I had pre-booked the tickets online, which proved to be the right thing to do judging by the queue when we arrived not long after opening time. The exhibition itself covers not only the work of Christian Dior himself, but subsequent designers associated with the house such as Raf Simons and John Galliano.

Entrance to the National Gallery of Victoria

The exhibition itself is huge, with 140 garments (and accessories) spanning the period 1947 to 2017, including the iconic ‘New Look’ designs from the late 1940s.

A stunning red dress, Christian Dior
A short ballgown, florals were one of Dior’s things
Part of the exhibition

Of course, it was impossible to pick a favourite. There were chic suits, a fabulous Raf Simons red coat, and then the dress below, designed by Gianfranco Ferre.

A really stunning gown

Some people may dismiss fashion as frivolous, but when you look at these clothes and the craftsmanship that goes into the design and manufacture of the pieces on display, one has to admit they are works of art, beautifully crafted.

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition, and if I lived in Melbourne would go back for a second look. There was a huge catalogue/book available, but it weighed a ton, and so would have been a bit tricky to take back to New Zealand, so I satisfied myself with some postcards.

The exhibition is on until 7 November 2017 and tickets are Aus $26, which quite frankly is a bargain. For those of you in Europe, there is also a Dior exhibition on in Paris.

Title of post from a quote by Christian Dior “A dress is a piece of ephemeral architecture”.

Thistles and Kiwis can be found on Facebook and Instagram @thistlesandkiwis


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