Dior: The Legendary Images
3 May to 21 September 2014, Musee Christian Dior, Granville
Norman Parkinson's legendary images feature in the new exhibition at the Christian Dior Museum in Normandy.
With the exhibition Dior: The Legendary Images, Great Photographers and Dior, the Christian Dior Museum continues to explore the ties between the world’s most renowned artists and the House of Dior. In keeping with the spirit of the exhibitions Dior: Le Bal des Artistes in 2011, Stars in Dior in 2012, which examined the House’s relationship with the cinema; and Impressions: Dior in 2013, Dior: The Legen- dary Images demonstrates how photography also contributed to Christian Dior’s worldwide success. Ever since Christian Dior’s first Haute Couture presentation, in 1947, the House of Dior has been en- riched by the eyes of the world’s greatest photographers, who were inspired by the legendary couturier’s style as well as that of his successors.
In the post-war years, Richard Avedon, Horst P. Horst and Clifford Coffin established the canons of Christian Dior’s iconographic signature. Then Norman Parkinson, Irving Penn, Cecil Beaton, Erwin Blumenfeld, Henry Clarke, Peter Knapp, Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton built on Dior’s vision of women to create an archetype of fashion photography, a genre that has been exalted by contemporary talents including Pa- trick Demarchelier, Dominique Issermann, Peter Lindbergh, Terry Richardson, Nan Goldin, Jean Bap- tiste Mondino, Paolo Roversi, Bruce Weber, Nick Knight, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin and Willy Vanderperre, among others.
Dior: The Legendary Images, Great Photographers and Dior focuses on three themes: the photographer’s eye, the resulting portraits of Dior style, and the construction of the Dior image.
Symbolic figures in the House of Dior’s iconography highlight a panorama of more than sixty years in the history of fashion photography. A selection of two hundred photographs accompanied by approximately sixty haute couture dresses and archival documents illustrate the collaboration between the House of Dior and its artistic directors – from Christian Dior to Raf Simons – and more than eighty photography greats from the mid-20th through the early 21st centuries. The Christian Dior Museum, Dior’s historic homes, and a number of contributors made it possible to bring this project to the villa Les Rhumbs, the childhood home that inspired Christian Dior and informed his fashions.
Four Norman Parkinson pictures, taken over three decades, are included in the exhibition. The photographs can be seen in the gallery above.
Parkinson's wife, the Vogue model Wenda, also appears in the lead image for the exhibition and on the cover of the accompanying catalogue. Thi simage was taken by Parkinson's Vogue colleague Clifford Coffin in 1948.