In the Presence of Greatness

Happy Friday, my friends! Finally I’ve had a moment to sit and share with you the glorious morning I spent with my daughter, Heather, visiting the Dior exhibit at Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Heather and I – Happy little fashionistas as we were leaving the exhibit

First, to simply call it a “Dior” exhibit is not to do it justice. Designers of every decade, country, and flavor were represented throughout the displays. Heather and I both, being the total fashionistas we both are, were awestruck from moment one with the mastery and artistry that surrounded us at every turn.

I’ll try to say very little here, but primarily let the pictures speak for themselves…


When we entered they ran a small film on the history of Dior and fashion. I captured a few screen shots for you. Note the difference from the beginning in those lovely pencil skirts as time moved forward into the daring hi-low ruffled formal gown. The progression and changes over time throughout the exhibit were fascinating – and especially to observe how many things have come full-circle and are once again in vogue.

Totally fell in love with this pink suit – not that I’d turn down the gold dress either!

So many shoes and purses to fall in love with! Look how fun and whimsical so many of them are – but, don’t miss the craftsmanship and creativity that went into these amazing pieces!

With my love of color and fun, unique pieces, this was one of my favorite displays! The first dress on this lower display, which some of you fellow design junkies may immediately recognize as an Emilio Pucci, was by far one of my favorite pieces in the exhibit. I really thought they should let me take it home with me, but for some reason, they disagreed! Go figure!

After such a brilliant display of color, we were immediately met with this strong contrast of beautiful metallic gowns! Heather fell in love with just about everyone of these! (And, of course, she would have looked amazing in any of them!)

As you can see there was no shortage of evening gowns, but easily one of mine and Heather’s favorites, was this stunning gold “juniors” evening dress from 1953 designed by Anne Fogarty. As the card informed us, the designer herself wore the gown to receive an award for her designs. The gown features an 18-in. waist which exemplified her vision of femininity as described in her 1959 book Wife Dressing: The Art of Being a Well-Dressed Wife. (I would love to get my hands on a copy of that book!)

As we were nearing the end of the exhibit, you can see that more modern looks began to come into play, starting with a lovely Chanel suit – always in style – and ending here at the bottom with a fabulous red evening gown designed for the punk rock movement with a rip and tear effect in the back.

The highlight of the exhibit, as you were leaving, was this incredible display of Grace Kelly’s wedding ensemble! According to the placards, it only occasionally travels with the exhibit because of the delicateness of the pieces. It was an amazing and very special thing to see. Definitely a gown fit for a princess!

As enjoyable as the pictures are to look at, they just don’t do justice to seeing those pieces in person – being able to look at the fabrics and colors, and appreciate the masterful craftsmanship and artistry that went into each and every item displayed there.

This IS a traveling exhibit and if, by chance, it wanders into your area, it is worth the cost of admission to spend a few hours appreciating the art that is fashion!

Until We Meet Again,


6 Replies to “In the Presence of Greatness”

  1. Isn’t this such an amazing display of creative genius? I love how you got to see different items at your exhibition than were at ours!! But they are all so gorgeous.
    I love they even had some receipts from some of the dresses. You could see how much they cost and the back and forth communication. That was so interesting!!


    1. That’s so interesting that they used different pieces as they traveled around!
      It really was amazing! The stories on the placards were just fascinating to me – I love hearing the little tidbits of who wore things and how a piece came to be, or what the inspiration was behind a piece. The whole display really drove home how these are not just “clothes”, these are pieces of art – such awe inspiring craftsmanship!


  2. Wow, Ronnie, I wish Kansas City would have something long those lines as far as an exhibit. Between Philly and Denver, I’m a bit envious. This was def an exhibit to remember, I’m sure. I’ve started putting a little birdie in Michael’s ear about maybe getting to Dallas to see the Denver exhibit once it has moved on to there. We shall see…

    Great collection of photos. That has to be one of the best doc’s on a show that I’ve read about lately. Job well done!


    1. Thanks, Terri! Yes, definitely get there if you have the opportunity! Such an inspiring display! Scoffers who think clothes are just clothes need to spend an hour or two wandering those aisles and see the craftsmanship and creativity that went into those pieces and realize what an art there truly is behind each and every piece…and, of course, as you read the placards and read the wonderful stories and see the influence these pieces have had….Amazing, to be sure!
      Hope you have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

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