Capturing Dior’s Dresses

//PICTURED ABOVE: Photography students all aim at the dresses to capture the perfect shot.

Bulky cameras hanging from their necks, students boarded the bus during a school day. Photography students visited the “Dior: From Paris to the World” exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art Sept. 18 and 19. 

For their fashion photography unit, students were assigned two tasks: one, build a crate with an egg in it to experiment with lighting; two, take pictures of each other in fashion garments. To gain experience and utilize Dallas’s resources, they visited the Dior exhibition to not only practice their newly acquired skills and gain real-life experience but also to find inspiration for their runway designs. 

The exhibit showcases a variety of dresses from Christian Dior and subsequent creative directors, such as Yves Saint Laurent (1958-1960) and Maria Grazia Chiuri (2016-present), throughout the years. Along with the dresses they designed, their inspirations, design notes and portfolios all throughout the exhibition provide viewers a complete picture of how a design came to life, from start to finish. 

Certain sections have a specific theme like the entrance displaying black dresses and the “From Paris to the World” section set up in the museum’s barrel vault. Senior Richa Kapoor was most attracted to an exhibit displaying white garments on a white wall.

“All the clothes were white, and the lighting was pure white, too, so it looked angelic,” Kapoor said. 

In other sections, senior Sabrina Fearon said some features of outfits she has seen in social media resonated with the dresses on display.

“I really liked… the ones that were a little more modern, and a little bit less elaborate, just because they’re [styles] that I’ve seen in modern-day, or on social media,” Fearon said. “It was really cool to see the ones that celebrities that I’ve seen have worn before.”

Due to the nature of the exhibit, the students faced a challenge: the limited space. They couldn’t control where each mannequin stood and could only stand in certain places themselves, which affected the composition of their photographs. 

“Composition is how you take the picture, including the angle and set-up of the picture,” Fearon said. “Here, it was hard because we were limited in our space and we couldn’t change a lot the factors.” 

Lighting also arose as an issue. Both Fearon and Kapoor emphasized the importance of lighting in fashion photography to showcase the garments to their full potential, but senior Jenny Choi said the ambient lighting was suited to the audiences’ eyes, not to the cameras’ lenses.

“It was very dim,” Choi said. “It was nice when you were in it but not nice when you were taking photos.”

Working through the challenges, the students not only gained experience in photographing inflexible elements but also found inspiration for their next step in this project. 

“The next part of our project is to take photos of people,” Choi said. “On the screens of the exhibit, there were photos of actual people posing in fashion, so that was helpful.” 

The exhibition will run through Oct. 27. To learn more about this exhibition, click here.

Story by Eugene Seong and Catherine Sigurdsson

Photo by Catherine Sigurdsson


Eugene Seong

Eugene is a professional doodler who likes cello and pies. She is often found watching youtube or eating food in her natural habitat, the Hockaday Residence Deparment.

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