Christian Dior: Couture and Diplomacy - Conférence au Musée McCord
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Christian Dior: Couture and Diplomacy


February 17, 2021

Lecture presented online on February 17, 2021

Did you know that Christian Dior’s parents, far from encouraging their son’s creativity, wanted him to become a diplomat!

In the 1950s, when France was trying to recover from the Second World War, various fashion industry players leveraged the growing renown of Parisian haute couture in the United States to achieve their goals. Instead of working together in the name of patriotism, stakeholders like the government, the textile industry and luxury firms promoted and defended their respective economic, commercial and political interests.

Although international relations and fashion may not instinctively go together, the legendary couturier quickly recognized the importance of the link between the two. In fact, French diplomats commended the House of Dior in 1954 after it staged a successful series of high-end fashion shows in a number of South American cities. The goal of the tour was to focus the attention of public authorities on Parisian couture, which had almost disappeared in that part of the world following the rising popularity of American fashion.

Join researcher Vincent Dubé-Senécal and Radio-Canada’s fashion commentator, Madeleine Goubau, for a fascinating live discussion presented as part of the Christian Dior exhibition.


  • Vincent Dubé-Senécal, Researcher
  • Madeleine Goubau, Fashion commentator, Radio-Canada

The exhibition Christian Dior is presented by Holt Renfrew Ogilvy and produced by the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.