In February 2019, the V&A will open its doors to the largest and most comprehensive exhibition ever staged in the UK on the House of Dior. It will be of a scale to rival the likes of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, which swept us off our feet in in 2015.
Spanning from 1947 to present day, the exhibition will trace the history of Dior himself – one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers - and the six artistic directors who have succeeded him, to explore the enduring influence of the fashion house.
The exhibition will showcase 500 objects, with over 200 rare couture garments shown alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, perfume, make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions. Based on the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, the exhibition will be reimagined for the V&A. A brand-new section will, for the first time, explore the designer’s fascination with British culture.
The highlight of the exhibition will undoubtedly be the show-stopping couture gown that Princess Margaret wore to her twenty-first birthday party in 1951, for which Dior staged a special show for the Queen, Princess Margaret and the Duchess of Kent at the French Embassy in London in April 1950. The Princess would later refer to the dress ‘favourite dress of all’.
Gowns worn by Jennifer Lawrence, Charlize Theron, Lupita Nyong’o and other starlets will also be on show in the final room of the exhibition, a ballad of Dior’s adoration of magical, fantasy evening dresses. Dresses designed by the six artistic directors who followed Dior will be featured too.
‘There is no other country in the world, besides my own, whose way of life I like so much. I love English traditions, English politeness, English architecture. I even love English cooking’, he once said.
The exhibition at its former home in Paris
Oriole Cullen, Fashion and Textiles Curator at the V&A, said, 'The V&A recognised Dior’s important contribution to design history early-on in his career, acquiring his sketches and garments from the 1950s onwards. The influence of Christian Dior’s design was all-pervasive and helped to define an era. In their own individual ways, each of the House’s successive artistic directors have referenced and reinterpreted Dior’s own designs and continued the legacy of the founder, ensuring that the House of Christian Dior is at the forefront of fashion today. More than seventy years after its founding, the V&A’s exhibition will celebrate the enduring influence of the House of Dior and uncover Dior’s relationship with Britain.'
|What||Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, V&A|
|Where||V&A, South Kensington, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL | MAP|
|Nearest tube||South Kensington (underground)|
02 Feb 19 – 14 Jul 19, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM