Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams Exhibition to Open February 2019 at the V&A Museum in London

GUILD MAGAZINE


  Yves Saint Laurent in front of Christian Dior London, 11th November 1958. © Popperfoto. Courtesy of Christian V&A.

Yves Saint Laurent in front of Christian Dior London, 11th November 1958. © Popperfoto. Courtesy of Christian V&A.


In February 2019, the V&A will open the largest and most comprehensive exhibition ever staged in the UK on the House of Dior – the museum’s biggest fashion exhibition since Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty in 2015. Spanning 1947 to the present day, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams will trace the history and impact of 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.

Based on the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, organized 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. Dior admired the grandeur of the great houses and gardens of Britain, as well as British-designed ocean liners, including the Queen Mary. He also had a preference for Savile Row suits. In 1947, he hosted his first UK fashion show at London’s Savoy Hotel, and in 1952 established Christian Dior London. This exhibition will investigate Dior’s creative collaborations with influential British manufacturers, and his most notable British clients, from author Nancy Mitford to ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn. A highlight will be the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, generously on loan from the Museum of London. It will also bring to life Dior’s spectacular fashion shows staged in the UK’s most luxurious stately homes, including Blenheim Palace in 1954.

Oriole Cullen, Fashion and Textiles Curator at the V&A, tells us “In 1947, Christian Dior changed the face of fashion with his ‘New Look’, which redefined the female silhouette and reinvigorated the post-War Parisian fashion industry. The V&A recognized 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.”

Drawn from the extensive Dior Archives, the exhibition will also showcase highlights from the V&A’s world-class Couture collections, including the iconic Bar Suit, gifted to the museum by the House of Dior in 1960. The exhibition will present over 500 objects, with over 200 rare Haute Couture garments shown alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, perfume, make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions.

From horticulture to global travel and 18th-century decorative arts, the show will reveal the sources of inspiration that defined the House of Dior’s aesthetic. From the daring designs of Yves Saint Laurent to the rational style of Marc Bohan, the flamboyance of Gianfranco Ferré, the exuberance of John Galliano, the minimalism of Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s feminist vision of fashion, the exhibition will show how each successive artistic director has stayed true to Dior’s vision of Haute Couture, while bringing their own creative sensibilities to the House. - GM

 


Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams 

V&A Museum, London from 2 February – 14 July 2019

www.vam.ac.uk


  Christian Dior with model Lucky, circa 1955. Courtesy of Christian Dior.

Christian Dior with model Lucky, circa 1955. Courtesy of Christian Dior.

  Christian Dior with model Sylvie, circa 1948. Courtesy of Christian Dior.

Christian Dior with model Sylvie, circa 1948. Courtesy of Christian Dior.


  Écarlate afternoon dress, Autumn-Winter 1955 Haute Couture collection, Y line. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Photo © Laziz Hamani.

Écarlate afternoon dress, Autumn-Winter 1955 Haute Couture collection, Y line. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Photo © Laziz Hamani.

  Soirée de décembre evening dress, Autumn-Winter 1954 Haute Couture collection, H line. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Gift of Dame Margot Fonteyn. Photo © Laziz Hamani.

Soirée de décembre evening dress, Autumn-Winter 1954 Haute Couture collection, H line. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Gift of Dame Margot Fonteyn. Photo © Laziz Hamani.

  Pérou short evening dress, Autumn-Winter 1954 Haute Couture collection, H line. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Gift of Cecil Beaton. Photo © Laziz Hamani.

Pérou short evening dress, Autumn-Winter 1954 Haute Couture collection, H line. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Gift of Cecil Beaton. Photo © Laziz Hamani.


  Sketch by Christian Dior for model Londres, Autumn-Winter 1950 Haute Couture collection © Christian Dior.

Sketch by Christian Dior for model Londres, Autumn-Winter 1950 Haute Couture collection © Christian Dior.



  Princess Margaret presents Christian Dior with a scroll entitling him to Honorary Life Membership of the British Red Cross © Popperfoto. Courtesy of Christian V&A.

Princess Margaret presents Christian Dior with a scroll entitling him to Honorary Life Membership of the British Red Cross © Popperfoto. Courtesy of Christian V&A.

  Diorling perfume, 1963. Photo (c) Laziz Hamani.

Diorling perfume, 1963. Photo (c) Laziz Hamani.

  Sketch by Christian Dior for model Oxford, Spring-Summer 1947 Haute Couture collection © Christian Dior.

Sketch by Christian Dior for model Oxford, Spring-Summer 1947 Haute Couture collection © Christian Dior.