Welcome to the House of Dior: from the New Look to Miranda Kerr’s wedding dress

Seven decades of voluminous tulle – and a hat costing more than a small car –come together in a celebration of haute couture that’s also a coup for the NGV

The two strapless gowns stand side by side. One is scarlet, its tightly sculpted bodice descending to a full skirt that flares from the hip. The other has a brightly coloured beaded bodice topped with a full African-style bead collar and a skirt of stiff fabric petals shooting out from the waist in a riotous burst of red, orange and yellow.

The first was designed by Belgian Raf Simons, the second by UK designer John Galliano. The two could not be more different and yet they share a heritage and a fashion language: both were designed for the French fashion house Dior.

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