Decoding Dior’s Delphine


Linings: These are very important in the modern way of making clothes. What is inside is sometimes more important than what appears!” – Christian Dior, Talking about Fashion (1954)

We’ve been in love with Delphine from the moment that technicians from the Royal Ontario Museum opened the crate in which she was transported to Glenbow and revealed this arresting, vibrant creation from Dior’s Autumn/Winter 1956 – 1957 season.

A cocktail dress, Delphine was originally presented in black silk. The signature Dior drape and fit are realized by an under-structure of boned corset and crinoline to hold the shape. Delphine, by the way, is a French woman’s name meaning “dolphin.”

In an attempt to better understand the historical and technical skills utilized by Christian Dior in making masterpieces such as Delphine, researchers led by Professor Berta Pavlov of George Brown College in Toronto recreated the dress using both traditional and modern technology. Check out their work in the fascinating video below and see how their version stacks up against the original.

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