PARIS – Christian Dior is set to take a high-heeled stroll through cinema history in a retrospective that traces the design house’s close links with the fashions, and fickleness, of the silver screen.
The exhibit, “Stars in Dior,” will feature a rare collection of some 50 Dior gowns, worn by actresses including Grace Kelly, Olivia de Havilland and Elizabeth Taylor, both on and off the screen over six decades.
“For Dior, cinema was so important, not many people know, but that’s where it all started. In the beginning, he first designed costumes for ballet and film,” said exhibit curator Barbara Jeauffroy-Mairet.
The show, at the Christian Dior museum in the designer’s childhood home in Normandy, will present an entire section dedicated uniquely to German-American actress Marlene Dietrich, a fashion icon and Dior client since 1947.
The collection will feature documentary evidence about the star (known for her androgynous style), such as telegrams, bills and receipts for men’s sweaters she ordered from the house. Dietrich, a close friend of the designer, once famously refused to star in an Alfred Hitchcock film unless he created the costumes, according to Jeauffroy-Mairet.
“She declared, ‘No Dior, No Dietrich,’ and this exhibit really shows how headstrong she was.”
Spread over three floors, the multimedia exhibit will additionally connect the dots between film and fashion with movie clips and posters.
“Stars in Dior” opens May 12 at the Christian Dior Museum and runs through Sept. 23. A companion book is planned.