The enduring House of Dior is now many decades removed from the inimitable eye and soul of the man who created it—Christian Dior. He was deeply cultured. He was attuned to the ineffable. He surrounded himself with aesthetically extravagant women. And he was the first couturier who made style statements worthy of global news coverage. Not Chanel. Dior!

A black silk-crêpe dress adorned with two rows of pearls, part of the Haute Couture fall-winter 1960 collection, by Yves Saint Laurent for Christian Dior.

So the exhibition that has just arrived at the Brooklyn Museum, after earlier iterations in Paris, London, Denver, and Shanghai, is major. And it has its own eponymous book, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, published by Rizzoli. Text is supplied by the Dior authority Maureen Footer and the Brooklyn Museum’s senior curator, Matthew Yokobosky.

A Palmyre evening dress in ice-blue satin embroidered with floral motifs and palmettes in silver metallic thread, paste gemstones, beads, and sequins, part of Christian Dior’s Haute Couture fall-winter 1952 collection.

Each leg of the exhibition has seen bespoke revisions, changes contoured to Dior’s history in that city. But all are an odyssey through the House of Dior, and all have begun where they must, in 1947, with Christian Dior’s spectacular first collection, Corolle. Catching the world’s rebirth—war over and life opening like a rose—Dior would go on to reign supreme for 10 years, until his untimely death in 1957. In unbroken continuity, six succeeding couturiers have sustained and updated Dior’s romantic vision of refinement. Saint Laurent, Bohan, Ferré, Galliano, Simons, and, now, Chiuri—they’re all here. The exhibition is not to be missed. But if you must miss it, this book should pull you into the moment. —Laura Jacobs

“Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” is on now at the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition catalogue is out now from Rizzoli