Explore & Learn > Exhibits > Dior and More - For the Love of Fashion

Dior & More - For the Love of Fashion will close on Saturday, May 24, 2014.

Dior & More – For the Love of Fashion
Chisholm Halle Costume Wing
History Center in University Circle, Cleveland
Susan Neill, Guest Curator

Take a behind the scenes video tour with us! Click here. 

About Dior & More
We invite you to immerse yourself in the world of high fashion through haute couture and luxury ready-to-wear designs worn by women of impeccable style. This glimpse into the Western Reserve Historical Society’s “wardrobe” provides an intimate look at women’s changing lifestyles from the turn of the twentieth-century to the 1980s through forty elegant – and sometimes whimsical – designer ensembles.

Be sure to see:
The vivid American Beauty red haute couture ball gown and stole designed by Bob Bugnand, Paris. It was made for Elizabeth Parke Firestone (Mrs. Harvey S. Firestone, Jr.) about 1960. The Elizabeth Parke Firestone Collection, 89.83.17

The brilliant hue of this ball gown evokes the American Beauty rose, a long-stemmed French hybrid with intense fragrance. Bugnand was one of Firestone’s favorite designers and he dressed many well-known personalities, including Jacqueline Kennedy.

What’s to Love:
Filmy, finely crinkled silk crêpe creates a boldly feminine statement with an effortless curve-skimming silhouette.

The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good, on you! – Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (1883-1971), fashion designer

Be sure to see:
A printed afternoon dress designed by Christian Dior, Paris. This haute couture silhouette is from his Spring/Summer 1953 collection, the Tulip Line, which was characterized by width at the top over a stem-slim midriff and hips. The dress of ivory silk plain weave with a blue-gray floral print was worn by Elizabeth Parke Firestone (Mrs. Harvey S. Firestone, Jr.).
The Elizabeth Parke Firestone Collection, 89.83.5

Detail of the floral design printed on plain weave silk.

What’s to love:
The silk fabric of Dior’s Tulip Line afternoon dress offers cool confidence in summer while its painterly floral motif makes a sophisticated reference to a garden in bloom.

To create something exceptional, your mindset must be relentlessly focused on the smallest detail. – Giorgio Armani (1934- ), fashion designer

The ensembles in Dior & More – For the Love of Fashion were selected from the costume collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society. The Society has a remarkable world-class costume and textile collection of more than 30,000 items, 13,000 of which are costumes from the 1750s to today.  

These two photos show the diminutive size of Elizabeth Parke Firestone (Mrs. Harvey S. Firestone, Jr.). She was the former owner of the vivid pink evening ensemble custom-made for her in Paris by Bob Bugnand, about 1960, as well as the dark blue silk satin day dress designed by Christian Dior for the Spring/Summer collection, 1954. Our registrar, Danielle (who is 5’9”), stands beside the dressed form of both ensembles. Mrs. Firestone had separate measurements for her gowns for the morning and the evening to assure a perfect fit.