Exhibition

Dior and Rochas: contemporary interpretations of gala wear

Opening of the MoMu Now exhibition with contemporary interpretations by gala wear by Rochas and Dior, Photo: MoMu/ Boy Kortekaas

Opening of the MoMu Now exhibition with contemporary interpretations by gala wear by Rochas and Dior, Photo: MoMu/ Boy Kortekaas

Traditionally, gala or evening wear is the domain of haute couture – custommade designer clothing often worn by royals, actresses and other celebrities for festive occasions. Eveningwear is usually associated with long clothes.

The four silhouettes at the opening of the MoMu Now exhibition are contemporary interpretations of gala wear: they are from the prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) lines by French fashion houses Rochas and Dior, and not from their couture collections.

A contemporary interpretation of gala wear by Raf Simons for Dior, Photo: MoMu/ Boy Kortekaas

A contemporary interpretation of gala wear by Raf Simons for Dior, Photo: MoMu/ Boy Kortekaas

The two Dior silhouettes, designed by the Belgium designer Raf Simons, flirt with the codes of formal evening wear: the ‘Bar Tailleur,’ referring to the famous 1947 New Look by Christian Dior, is turned into a smoking with masculine tones; the cocktail dress was cut in half and worn with shorts, breaking with the conventions of long evening wear. The Dior silhouettes were purchased by the VZW MoMu+Friends for the MoMu collection.

The silhouettes by Olivier Theyskens for Rochas are more typical examples of long evening wear decorated with black lace.