After World War II, France was laid to ruin and many of the fashion houses shuttered. Albeit, Christian Dior’s 1947 Haute Couture Show emerged like a flower from the darkness and rubble. Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now, a new exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, highlights Dior's pivotal moment in fashion and celebrates the impact it had on the fashion world.
Dior’s 1947 collection displayed an array of flowing dresses with soft shoulders and sharply cinched waistlines. The show sought to emphasize femininity and focused on the beauty of the natural curves of a woman’s body. Dior’s silhouette exaggerated the natural womanly shape and was defined as the “new look.” Seemingly overnight, it quickly became a symbol of hope, youth, and creative expression not just for the French design house, but also for the entire fashion world.
The exhibition is, in a way, dark yet beautiful. The vivacious colors and fabrics of the designs are illuminated in the darkness of the gallery. The exhibit presents a feeling of masterful femininity from the iconic couture houses of Dior, Balenciaga, and Balmain. This exhibition succeeds at displaying dresses that capture the feeling of the decade they were birthed in through fashion’s ingenuity.
Many of the dresses were generously donated by Annette Friedland, a Main Line philanthropist who shares a personal connection to the pieces, especially those from the house of Pierre Cardin. Every dress in the collection tells its own story as a unique piece of history.
For those in search of a more intimate look, come celebrate the exhibition at the Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s “Fall Into Art Party” on November 3rd.
Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now
Through March 3, 2019 at The Philadelphia Museum of Art