DENVER — The Mile High City got its very own Parisian-inspired night Friday evening when the Denver Art Museum’s exhibition “Dior: From Paris to the World” was toasted with a Chairman’s Dinner in the museum’s Frederic C. Hamilton building.
Ahead of a walkthrough, one of the first looks at the exhibition (which is Dior’s first of its kind in the U.S. and which opens to the public Monday), guests were welcomed with some background from its curator Florence Müller and the museum’s director, Christoph Heinrich.
“About three years ago we were able to lure Florence Müller away from Paris to Denver, which is, I think, the clear option when you live in Paris,” Heinrich told the crowd. “And ever since, Florence, a powerhouse of fashion, turned this program around.”
The exhibition’s arrival in Denver is in part thanks to the financial backing of patrons Joy and Chris Dinsdale.
“When someone asks me ‘do you speak French?’ I say ‘yes, I speak Dior.’ And when my husband asks me ‘are you shopping?’ I say ‘no, I’m collecting — Dior,’” Joy told the room. “The house of Dior to me is an enduring legacy of exquisite and revolutionary design, a story of fashion, and most of all, beauty.”
Guests then milled through the exhibition, taking in the collection.
“Those kind of bad boys never appealed to me,” one guest remarked to another over a video clip showing Marlon Brando in a biker jacket in “The Wild One,” in the Yves Saint Laurent room.
“This is my first time in Denver and the view is beautiful — and the light is beautiful. I really love the city,” she said from the exhibition’s “total look” room.
Never mind the fact that she’d been out in New York the past three nights, first for the brand’s Meatpacking pop-up and then for the back-to-back nights at the Guggenheim; Chiuri made the trip to Denver a priority.
“I really love to promote the exhibition because I think it’s a very important part of our history, and I think it’s very important also because with the exhibition you understand the legacy of the house, that is a huge legacy,” she said. “And I really love this new exhibition, because there are many references from the last exhibition in Paris but also new pieces that I have never seen before. So I’ve been taking pictures. Because it’s not the same to see the pictures in the book than to see the real piece and there are pieces that I’ve never seen in the past.”
Downstairs, guests sat for dinner and were welcomed with remarks by Denver’s mayor, Michael Hancock.
“I remember coming here not too long ago and practicing the name ‘Yves Saint Laurent,’” Hancock said, referencing the museum’s last fashion exhibition. “It was hard. The problem was they gave me just a couple glasses of wine before I got on stage. But the fact that tonight, we’re able to celebrate the Dior house in our city, and it hasn’t been anywhere else, says that we have truly arrived as a global city.”
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