Imagine there was a place where there was everything you needed to know about the legend that is Christian Dior. And we’re talking everything. From discovering more about his Parisian childhood, to viewing his personal possessions and rare Haute Couture garments he created by hand.
Well, dream no more, as the V&A in London will open the largest and most comprehensive exhibition ever staged in the UK on the house of Dior on 2 February. Spanning from 1947 to the present day, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams will trace the history and impact of the famous couturier, and the six artistic directors who have succeeded him, in what will be the museum’s biggest fashion exhibition since Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty in 2015. Interested? We thought so.
The V&A team, led by fashion and textiles curator Oriole Cullen and set designer Nathalie Crinière, will reimagine the hugely popular exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve for the London gallery space. “We have about 50 per cent new content and it is all haute couture,” Oriole tells Grazia. “It’s quite phenomenal to think that every single garment in the show is handmade. Throughout the 70 years of the house, we see the high points and the amazing imagination of the designers at the helm. The garments themselves speak volumes, so this is very much a show that focuses on the fashion.”
The exhibition will present over 500 objects, with over 200 rare haute couture garments shown alongside accessories, including Princess Margaret’s 21st birthday dress and Jennifer Lawrence’s red-carpet couture. Plus, perfume, make-up and sketches will be available for viewing.
“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 once said. It seems justified, then, that a brand-new section will, for the first time, explore the designer’s fascination with Britain. “It’s a story that hasn't really been told before,” Oriole starts. “From the grandeur of the great houses and gardens to the food he ate, the British culture became an endless pool of inspiration for him. And he loved British women – the way they wore their tweeds as well as their ball gowns,” she adds with a smile.
Grazia cannot wait to witness this amazing spectacle through our own lens and continue to celebrate the enduring influence of the House of Dior.
The exhibition "Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams" runs from February 2 – July 14, 2019 in the V&A’s Sainsbury Gallery. Tickets will go on sale in autumn 2018.