Inside the Collection

Dior Couture Inside Out

Dior suit on model
Designed by Christian Dior. Collection, Powerhouse Museum

To fully appreciate Haute Couture and the workmanship involved, you need to look beyond the exterior at the cut, stitching and underpinning. So, we’ve decided to turn one of our Dior garments inside out, the one we believe belonged to Mrs Elizabeth Parke Firestone (or her daughter, also called Elizabeth – thanks Bob!), which I blogged about earlier!

Dior Bodice, outside view
Designed by Christian Dior. Collection, Powerhouse Museum

The first shot, above, is the outside of the bodice, but showing the extra details you can’t normally see when worn. There is a zipper which extends beyond the line of the garment to prevent bulkiness around the bottom, black elastic to attach to the stockings and buttons which fasten to the inside of the waist – all intimate details which help to keep the garment close-fitting and securely in place. From the waist down, silk has also been used instead of wool, to take away that added bulk which would be apparent from having two layers of wool.

Dior Bodice, inside out view
Designed by Christian Dior. Collection, Powerhouse Museum

Looking at the front of the bodice, inside out, there is blue padding on the breasts to create fullness.

Dior Bodice, inside out view of the back
Designed by Christian Dior. Collection, Powerhouse Museum

And, here you can better see the extended zipper, which has been put in by hand rather than machine sewn.

Dior skirt inside out
Designed by Christian Dior. Collection, Powerhouse Museum

Inside the waist of the skirt are fasteners to which the buttons on the bodice can be attached.

Dior jacket inside out
Designed by Christian Dior. Collection, Powerhouse Museum

And, there are spare buttons sewn to the inside of the swing back jacket. As you will also notice, everything is lined to prevent the scratchy feel of the wool against the skin.

Dior suit on model
Designed by Christian Dior. Collection, Powerhouse Museum

All of these underpinnings help to make the suit smooth fitting, slimline and elegant.

What other garments in the fashion collection would you like us to explore ‘inside out’?

3 responses to “Dior Couture Inside Out

  • Hi Melanie,
    What a fabulous idea, this is almost like a ‘dress autopsy’ isn’t it?
    I would love to see a post about the inside of one of the Chanel suits in the museums collection.
    There an old argument about which couture house is more influential, Dior or Chanel? I’m really interested in seeing which house was more meticulous in garment construction!!

    Thanks heaps, Rebecca

  • This is really interesting – I’d love to have an inside out look at some of those massive and complex Victorian garments that both men and women wore – such elaborate costume that we just don’t bother with in the modern world. Probably because we don’t have the time!

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