Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams Exhibition Review

I attended The Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at The Victoria & Albert museum today. If I could describe using just one word to epitomise the exhibition, it would be: magical. Simply magical.

Psychologically it transported me back to my childhood; back to where I would spend entire days fantasising over haute couture items that I’d never own. Fingering the pages of Vogue, pondering over silk, feather, and Swarovski encrusted dresses. The nostalgic pleasure I engaged in throughout the exhibition was amazing.

The exhibition explored the design houses influence on fashion, from 1946 until the present day.

Femininity

Some of Dior’s earliest collections explored the femininity of fashion designs, cinched waists and accentuated curves. The designs were hotly debated throughout the fashion media.

Dior in Britain

Christian Dior fell in love with Britain, falling for its allure since the first time he visited in 1926. Following his 1950 fashion show at London’s Savoy hotel, he began regularly showing his collections in grand country houses.

”I adore the English, dressed not only in the tweeds which suit them, but also in them flowing dresses, in subtle colours, which they have worn inimitably since the days of Gainsborough.” Christian Dior, 1957

Dior in Paris

We can see very typically Parisian, grand designs in this section of the exhibition. I loved the pale colours mixed with the royal designs, and exaggerated curves.

Christian Dior by Victor Grandpierre (1906-84), Grandpierre’s Display case for Miss Dior was inspired by the Temple of Love at the Petit Trianon at Versailles.

The Garden

”After women, flowers are the most divine of creations.” Christian Dior, 1954

From early childhood Christian Dior had always admired gardens and nature. Dior enjoyed sketching his dresses outside, and often drew inspiration from gardens, flowers and nature.

Designers for Dior

Designers for the house of Dior are selected very carefully, scouted for their attention to detail and creativity. Since 1957 the house has been led by six key creative designers: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simmons and Maria Grazi Chiuri.

Wearing Dior

The house of Dior has designed gowns and clothes for anyone who is anyone within popular culture. Ranging from princess Margaret all the way to Rihanna, here is the best of their designs (and this was my favourite room in the whole exhibition, absolutely enchanting):

Overall

I found this exhibition to be informative, and highly visually stimulating. Each room contained different themes, chronologically exploring Dior’s influence and creativity. It was amazing to see the periodic transition, although, the core values of the house of Dior have not changed. The femininity, class and flamboyance can be seen throughout the decades.

My only criticism is that it is quite difficult to take in the information in a written style. I have been to precious fashion exhibitions, and I found it more helpful to have videos and even headphones available. I find it easier to digest the information when it is told to me, especially in such a busy environment where I am desperately trying to get decent photos!

As far as I’m aware this show is sold out, but if you do have tickets or manage to get some – you are in for a real visual treat. Enjoy.

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