From the exquisite dressing of mannequins to the intricately handmade paper foliage hanging from the ceiling, it is unavoidable to acquiesce the sheer planning and work that went into the curation of the ‘Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams’ exhibition at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. And for those, like myself, who had the misfortune not to witness this masterpiece in person, there is a solution! And all it takes is a simple click onto YouTube.
Entitled ‘‘Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams’ at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs’, you can watch the creation of this wonderful exhibition from start to finish. Its jam packed with titbits of information around the technology used, the restoration and upkeep of historical couture clothing and the creative direction which ensured the success of the exhibition. We’re taken on a roller coaster ride of history, which include some of the most talented practitioners the Parisian Fashion House has ever known. Starting with Monsieur Dior himself, with his post war ‘New look’, to Yves Saint Laurent’s, forward thinking creations transporting us into the swinging 60’s, and not to forget Galliano, ‘the punk couturier’, and last but not least Raf Simmons with his minimalist return to the ‘old’. You watch a team of dedicated individuals work tirelessly and after weeks of hard toil, it all culminates into the moment of truth, an overwhelmingly fabulous showcasing event which combines fashion and art with an added sprinkling of famous faces.
This documentary is a must watch for every fashion enthusiast and for anyone, in fact, who is interested in art, culture or the structure in which curatorial pursuits take their shape. History, technology, and some of the finest Parisian clothing in the world, this documentary has it all.
And if ‘Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams’ sparks your interest in other online fashion exhibitions, then YouTube has plenty more of these gems to offer! The second suggestion on my ‘must watch’ list is ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty-Gallery Views 2011’ from The Met Museum in New York. Considerably shorter than that of the Dior documentary at only 8 minutes long, you are taken on a virtual tour of ‘Savage Beauty’ and provided with insight into the life and mind of Alexander McQueen. Like many of McQueen’s shows, the galleries tell stories of the infamous designer’s inspiration’s, which range from his morbid fascination with life and death, to the beauty which can be found in nature. The inventive space created for this exhibition truly emulates McQueen’s work and pays homage to the legend he left behind.
However, if your desire is to move away from women-wear and venture into the world of exhibitions hosting the alternative of men’s fashions, then the albeit, short clip, provided by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is sure to tide you over! ‘Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715-2015 I Museum Exhibition’ shows the careful and inventive preparation of a garment being readied for exhibiting. The intricately embroidered coat, which could be considered the highlight of this clip, indeed gives the viewer a thirst for more, whilst simultaneously addressing the handling and dressing of historical pieces before they reach the gallery to be marvelled at. The only element this short video is lacking is time and depth, but one must accept that this could be considered a sneak peak in order to tempt in the hordes of museum goers, rather than a documentary on the exhibition.
And, last but not least, on my list of fabulous online exhibitions is ‘Fashion Exhibition: Mary Quant at V&A London’ brought to us by Ta-Dah.TV. This provides us with more of a history lesson than a curatorial experience. But it is worth it just for a close-up of the numerous miniskirts and funky ensembles that the Mary Quant brand had to offer. It really takes us back to the 1960’s and is a reminder of how revolutionary Quant’s collections were. This news blast additionally provides the viewer with information on how the Victoria and Albert Museum went about creating such a fun and information packed exhibition, many of the ‘artefacts’ provided were from the women who originally bought the pieces! This ensures interesting viewing simply due to fact that some of these pieces have never been seen before on such a public scale, whilst adding a touch more history to the innovative museum exhibition.
So alas, there is no need to despair! Your fashion fix can be thoroughly satisfied through an assemblage of riveting online documentaries, designed for one with an eye for the creative and desire for ‘cultural outlet’. So, switch off Netflix and get online to view some of the finest global exhibitions in some of the finest historical institutions and all from the comfort of your own living room. Just lovely!
By Natasha Dunn