Christian Dior (French, Granville 1905–1957 Montecatini)
Isabel Shults Fund, 2006
Not on view
In 1948 Christian Dior presented a series of gowns that advanced the exquisite opulence of this prophetic New Look. The technical virtuosity of these creations aptly reflected their motile descriptors: "Drag," "Envol," "Cyclone." Each version exploited the lavish drapery and controlled tailoring of Dior's New Look, but with novel emphasis on asymmetry that was to become a Dior leitmotif. In the "Eventail" dress from the autumn/winter 1948–49 Zig Zag collection, a rigorously structured columnar silhouette is animated by sloping hems and a series of skewed panels that gently fan open to produce the requisite Z shape. Dior's preoccupation with the fundamentals of menswear is expressed here through discreet references to the tuxedo, including a cummerbund that serves as a mannish foil to the coy pink silk fichu. The stunning aerodynamics of Dior's zigzag panels and the rich textural interplay of taffeta, crepe, and velvet give "Eventail" the sumptuous elegance that is typical of the couturier's signature works.
Marking: [label] "Christian Dior/Paris/Made in Paris"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "blog.mode: addressing fashion," December 18, 2007–April 13, 2008.