Dior at the ROM

Dior at the ROM

I must confess that after having been wowed by the splendid Paris Dior exhibit in September, I was a little bit skeptical about what we would see at the ROM. But I was wrong. The curator, Alexandra Palmer, cleverly brought it home by scouting dresses owned by Canadian fashionistas in the early 50s—recognising household Canadian names amongst the donors makes one feel proud and involved.

Palmer also puts the emphasis on the craftsmanship behind each dress and the real people who make it all happen—an aspect totally absent from the Paris exhibit. A great opportunity for our group of 40 fashion fiends to deepen our knowledge of textile craft. A pre-visit chat with Sarah Fee (senior textile curator at the ROM) and Jeff Forrest (founder of Stacklab Studio) about the importance of nurturing and developing craftsmen provided a great introduction to the visit.

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A pre-visit chat with Sarah Fee (senior textile curator at the ROM) and Jeff Forrest (founder of Stacklab Studio) about the importance of nurturing and developing craftsmen provided a great introduction to the visit.
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The curator, Alexandra Palmer, cleverly brought it home by scouting dresses owned by Canadian fashionistas in the early 50s

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Christian Dior was an (elegant) rebel—he put women back in corsets, used enormous yardage when war rationing was still in effect, and lengthened dresses. At the end of the war, women were encouraged to go back to being home makers after having been central to the war effort. Christian Dior created a woman as a pretty flower, in cynched waiste and full skirt with names such as "Corolle".  Not every woman supported this vision. Placards screaming "Burn Mr Dior" and "Mr Dior, we abhor dresses to the floor" were seen during demonstrations. 

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Christian Dior at the ROM runs until March 18, 2018. Stay tuned for our next cultural event in the spring of 2018.

Image Sources: Isabella Bertani, Leesa Butler, Edina Cavalli, Royal Ontario Museum

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