Christian Dior’s dream couture gowns go on display at the V&A

“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.” Christian Dior

The largest and most comprehensive exhibition ever staged in the UK; Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams opened at the V&A Museum. Organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, the exhibition is reimagined for the V&A. The exhibition explores the designer’s fascination with the British Culture as well as the history and impact of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers and the artistic directors from 1947 to date.

With eleven sections to explore, the exhibition showcases the superb skill and craftsmanship of the ateliers and successive designers from the House of Dior. Visitors will be able to pieces including gown worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday and the iconic Bar Suit, gifted to the museum by the House of Dior in 1960 with the help of Cecil Beaton. The exhibition showcases over 500 objects, with over 200 rare Haute Couture garments shown alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, vintage perfume, original make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions.

The exhibition has been curated by Oriole Cullen, Fashion and Textiles Curator at the V&A. Cullen said: “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 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 celebrates the enduring influence of the House of Dior and reveals new research about Dior’s relationship with Britain.”

Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, said: “We are delighted to support the V&A’s staging of this spectacular Dior exhibition, following our support for the shows in Paris and Denver, Colorado. The histories of Swarovski and Dior have been intertwined since the 1950s, when my grandfather worked alongside Monsieur Dior himself to develop the Aurora Borealis crystal. It is wonderful to honour the incredible heritage of the House of Dior and to celebrate its enduring influence, which is beautifully captured in this breathtaking show.”

The exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams runs from 2 February – 14 July 2019

Image: V&A Museum

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