Christian Dior (1905-1957) - Evening dress

Artist: Christian Dior 1905-1957

Title: Evening dress 

Date: 1956

Medium: Silk Chiffon

Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana, USA

EMu user since 2004


Christian Dior (1905-1957) - Evening dressThis semi-formal evening dress is a classic example of the work of Christian Dior, a designer who considered couture no less an art than architecture or painting.

Made of brilliant red silk chiffon, the gown has a fitted, boned bodice, seemingly supported by thin straps, that extends slightly below the waist. The bouffant skirt, supported by four layers of crinoline, consists of tiers of diagonally draped sways that swirl around the body, creating a dramatic effect. The only embellishments are two small flowers made from the same fabric as the dress. The gown, which retains its original attached interior custom corset, demonstrates the painstaking artistry of true couture. The  drapery achieves a sculptural quality, yet, paradoxically, the multiple layers of sheer silk chiffon convey an impression of near weightlessness when the dress is worn.

Christian Dior introduced the tailored glamour of his New Look in the spring of 1947, a style characterised by full bust, narrow waist and ample skirts. A wildly popular and decidedly feminine style, it was to make Christian Dior a household name on both sides of the Atlantic.

Acknowledgements: Museum of Art, Gift of the Alliance of the Indianapolis Museum of Art