V&A announces largest ever Christian Dior exhibition in the UK

V&AYves Saint Laurent in front of Christian Dior London, 11th November 1958 – Image Courtesy of Getty Images

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams
The Sainsbury Gallery
2 February – 14 July 2019

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.

 

V&A
Diorling perfume, 1963 – Image courtesy of Laziz Hamani

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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.
This exhibition will investigate Dior’s creative collaborations with influential British manufacturer: 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.

 

V&A
Écarlate afternoon dress, Autumn-Winter 1955 Haute Couture collection, Y line. Victoria and Albert Museum, London – Image courtesy Laziz Hamani 

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The exhibition will highlight Dior’s vision of femininity, encompassing garments, accessories and fragrances. Flowers are emblematic of the Couture House and have inspired silhouettes, embroidery and prints but also the launch of Miss Dior in 1947, the first fragrance created alongside the very first show. 

 

V&A
Soirée de décembre evening dress, Autumn-Winter 1954 Haute Couture collection, H line. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Gift of Dame Margot Fonteyn – Image courtesy of Laziz Hamani 

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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.

“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

more. www.vam.ac.uk.com 

 V&AChristian Dior with model Lucky, circa 1955 – Image courtesy of Christian Dior

 

V&AChristian Dior with model Sylvie, circa 1948 – Image courtesy of Christian Dior

 

V&APrincess Margaret (left), with the Duchess of Marlborough behind, presents Christian Dior with a scroll entitling him to Honorary Life Membership of the British Red Cross after the presentation of his Winter Collection at Blenheim Palace on 3rd November 1954 – Image Courtesy of Getty Images

 

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