Dr. Alexandra Palmer delivers the inside scoop on the ROM’s commission of the House of Dior’s design and creation of the breathtaking haute couture dress now taking centre stage in BIG. Includes the world premiere of the full version of the film Dior about the making of the dress.
Dr. Alexandra Palmer is the Nora E. Vaughan Senior Curator, Textiles & Costume at the Royal Ontario Museum. She received her BA in Art History from the University of Toronto (1979); her MA in Costume and Textiles from New York University, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1981); and her PhD in Design History from the University of Brighton (1994).
In 1996, she joined the ROM where she is responsible for the collection of western fashionable dress and textiles and has curated several exhibitions including Elite Elegance: Couture Fashion in the 1950s (2003). Dr. Palmer is also Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, Department of Fine Art.
Her book Couture & Commerce: The Transatlantic Fashion Trade in the 1950s (2001) won a Clio Award for Ontario history, and her most recent book, Dior: A New Look, A New Enterprise 1947 – 57, V&A Publications (2009) won the 2010 Millia Davenport Publication Award.
Above, at right: Passage # 5. Haute Couture Collection / Spring Summer 2011 - Dior by John Galliano.
Commissioned by the ROM thanks to the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust.
BIG TIME: took 500 hours to make;
BIG SIZE: 175 metres of cloth;
BIG EVENT: Last and most technically challenging collection by John Galliano for Christian Dior.