The AFTV's second last Professional Development session for the year was held on the evening of 8 September 2017, with 54 AFTV members and their guests who attended this breath-taking event!
Professor Véronique Duché, A.R Chisholm Professor of French, Convenor of French Studies School of Languages and Linguistics, The University of Melbourne, provided an intricately-researched presentation en français about the 70 years of the House of Dior, launched in 1947. Professor Duché described the fashion, perfumes, shoes and accessories that Christian Dior created in all its finery, from the classical to the modern. She also transported us on a journey through the magnificent House of Dior, with her anecdotal references about the famous fashion designers, who worked at 30 Avenue Montaigne, Paris: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and the current Directrice artistique, Maria Grazia Chiuri.
Their creations all feature so beautifully in this iconic collection. Professor Duché also described the ‘petites-mains’, who worked meticulously to create such beautiful gowns, for instance, using an unbelievable 80 metres of fabric to make La robe chérie (1947) ! There are several videos featured throughout the exhibition, focusing on the seamstresses crafting these beautiful creations and there are live catwalk shows projected onto the walls that provide a tantalising back-drop to a myriad of different outfits.
The fact that Dior arrived in Australia, sponsored by David Jones in 1948, heralds the appropriate celebration of Christian Dior here, in Australia, 70 years later! The NGV has once again, surpassed its capabilities and provided us with an amazing ‘Winterfest’, with the creation of a show, where ‘Heaven meets Earth’. The sparkling Swarowski chandeliers, highlight the classical and eclectic assortment of fashion creations and the copious mirrors exude an atmosphere where one expects to catch a glimpse of one of the acclaimed designers pop out from around a corner. What an enriching experience to be part of this NGV Dior spectacle!