Humber Dior at the ROM

Nestled in the heart of Toronto at the Royal Ontario Museum is a timeless Christian Dior collection that revived the Paris haute couture industry after the devastation of World War II.

Exploring the luxury textiles and romantic embroideries at last Thursday’s invite-only event were more than 200 fashion students, along with faculty of Humber College.

Jennifer Dawson, coordinator of the Fashion Arts and Business program, said, “the energy and excitement from the students was infectious.”

Dawson collaborated with Douglas Mandel, the VP of Dior Canada and Las Vegas, to give students exposure to couture and a deeper sense of what the garments are and how they make people feel.

Mandel believes fashion business students are the future of the fashion industry, and a designer like Dior is one of the best craftsmen to learn from. 

“If you’re in the fashion world, couture is the epitome of it,” said Mandel.

Alexandra Palmer, the fashion costume senior curator and chair of the Veronika Gervers Research Fellowship in Textiles & Costume at the ROM, spoke to Humber students before they viewed the Dior exhibit.

“The students will take away extensive knowledge about Christian Dior from [Palmer]. Hearing her speak before viewing the exhibit was a highlight of the evening for students,” says Dawson.

Students got to see the ROM’s extensive collection from 1947 to 1957 – the first years of Christian Dior haute couture –to get insights into how the fashion industry functioned through some of history’s most challenging times. 

“It’s great to learn the history of fashion, especially in a generation that is not run by social media. It’s great to see how they promoted this fashion and to see how Christian Dior played a prominent role in Canadian fashion,” said Chantelle Johnson, a second-year Fashion Management student.

Attending this exclusive event gave students the opportunity to learn more about Dior’s craftsmanship, while having the opportunity to network with people from the fashion industry before launching their own fashion show, Haute Humber, in April.