Dior Exhibit + Royal Style

I promised a review of the Dior show at the Royal Ontario Museum. Here’s a glimpse of the dresses. They really were gorgeous.

But first, this:


Was there a better photo this week? No, no there was not. The Queen looks so delighted, and even AW looks pleased.

Because, let’s face it, good fashion is fantastic.

Segue back to the Dior Exhibit.

Now, first. I must state my biases. I have a love/hate relationship with the ROM, which mounted the show.

I used to adore the place. When I was in undergrad at U of T, I took a bunch of Classics and Near Eastern Studies classes and a couple of my professors had offices in the museum stuffed to the ceiling with artifacts. It was super cool.

For a brief moment in time, through a bizarre set of circumstances, I was Executive Director of the Children’s Own Museum, which was attached to the ROM and leased out the space in the former planetarium. When our lease ended, the ROM took over the space as the construction office for their expansion, as planned, but they really were not very nice about it. We had a bit of a barney over a fake tree (!) that ended up in the newspaper and I started to think of the museum as a bit of a nemesis.

A few years later, however, when my daughter was young, I decided to make peace with the place since they were within walking distance and a great place to go when the weather was not nice. My daughter was – let’s just say – high energy and we both came to love the place in spite of the fact that it’s far too dark inside. (I have no idea how they tore off pieces of the Georgian facade, added a bunch of metal and glass to open things up and yet somehow made the place feel darker inside!) Nevertheless, we spent a lot of time there and the security staff were really very understanding about her need to run a little as long as we did not disturb any other patrons. We were members and even threw some donation money their way in the end.

Also, they’ve always had a Druxy’s and they make the most terrific corned beef sandwiches on fresh rye bread with a dill pickle on the side.

But I digress.

Back to the exhibit.

I brought my Dior bag along to visit her distant relatives. As one does.

The show itself was good. It was a wee bit dark, but most textile shows are since the fabrics are so delicate. The Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 at the V&A had a similar vibe. The Dior exhibit is also not a huge show: there are 38 gowns compared to the Paris exhibit’s 300. But it’s beautifully curated by Alexandra Palmer.

The exhibit celebrates the House of Christian Dior’s 70th anniversary and focuses on how Dior’s New Look revolutionized fashion. Focusing on the time period between 1947 to 1957, the descriptions provide a lot of historical context.

The gowns themselves are exquisite. The lighting made my photos not fabulous, but if you are there in person, you can lean in quite close to the gowns and see the workmanship.

This sequinned Vénus gown was by far my favourite. But y’all know I love that colour.

I thought this perfume display was just magical. 

Blogger Vita & Moda took lovely photos of the exhibit if you want to see more detail. If you happen to be in Toronto, it’s worth a visit. 
The Mr. and I then wandered around the rest of the museum. I love the interiors section. 

And the gems.

And, of course, I had my corned beef sandwich.

Have you seen the Dior exhibit? Were you lucky enough to see the one in Paris?



  1. Hi Jen, I haven't been to the ROM in a few years, but my favourite is always the gemstones. I would love to see the Dior show, I'm glad you got a chance to go and report back. The photos of Her Majesty at LFW are delightful – and I love what she's wearing. Did you also see photos of Angela Kelly, sitting on the other side of Anna W.? My, she is stylish!


  2. I so agree about the ROM, the renovation was a disaster. How did they manage to make it even darker inside? But still, I spent lots of time there with my kids when they were younger and we were members for many years. Nowadays Gabby goes to class across the street and visits the museum fairly often! I may not make it to this exhibit but now I'm thinking I should really light a fire under my own butt and make a day of it! xxx


  3. How gorgeous are those Dior New Look gowns, and what a beautiful exhibition it is. Yes, the pink Venus gown is stunning. The Gem room looks interesting and unusual too. Loved that photo of HM and AW, and the way the Queen continues to find new and surprising things to do in her 90s. Well done!


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