christian dior: designer of dreams exhibition opens at the V&A

christian dior: designer of dreams exhibition opens at the V&A

opening this february at the victoria & albert museum, christian dior: designer of dreams is the largest exhibition on the french fashion house ever staged in the UK. from 1947 to the present day, the exhibition presents over 200 rare haute couture garments drawn from the V&A’s couture collection and the extensive dior archives alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, vintage perfume, original make-up, illustrations, magazines, and christian dior’s personal possessions. christian dior: designer of dreams exhibition opens at the V&Aimages © adrien dirand, victoria & albert museum, london




with christian dior: designer of dreams, the V&A traces 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 french fashion house. the exhibition explores the late designer’s fascination with british culture and his creative collaborations with british manufacturers, including dents(gloves), rayne (shoes) lyle & scott(knitwear) and mitchel maer (costume jewellery).




based on christian dior: couturier du rêve, organised by the musée des arts décoratifs, paris, the exhibition has been reimagined for the V&A. across 11 sections, it puts on display the exquisite skill and craftsmanship of the ateliers and successive designers from the fashion house. 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 shows how each successive artistic director has stayed true to dior’s vision of haute couture, while bringing their own creative sensibilities to the house.



the exhibition starts with an extended biography on christian dior (1905–57), from family life to his early career as a gallery owner and the founding of the house of dior in 1946. other sections throughout V&A’s sainsbury gallery focus on the designer’s famed bar suit from his ground-breaking first collection in 1947; the ten defining looks made between 1947 and 1957 during his own tenure at the house; his personal love of england and his british clients’ reciprocal love for his fashion; how travel and different countries and cultures consistently inspired the various designers at the house of dior; the importance of flowers and gardens as a source of inspiration, from garments to perfume; the work of the subsequent six key artistic directors since christian dior’s death in 1957; and toiles from the dior ateliers in a stunning ‘cabinet of curiosity’ style installation. titled diorama, one of the later sections examines the breadth of the fashion house, from accessories including costume jewellery,hats, shoes and bags,to illustrations, miniature dresses and archive lipstick and perfume, bottles,collected in a kaleidoscopic display, while the ballroom celebrates the fantasy of the ball, evoking the lavish interiors of the great houses of britain. showcasing 70 years of stunning formal evening wear, this section reveals the incredible skill of the haute couture ateliers.



project info:


name: christian dior: designer of dreams

location: V&A, cromwell road, london SW7 2RL

supported by: swarovski

duration: 2 february – 19 july, 2019

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