Opened last month, the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is the largest and most comprehensive exhibition ever staged in the UK on the House of Dior. Reimagined for the V&A with an additional section on the designer’s relationship with Britain, the exhibition was based on the Parisian one organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and retraces in a spectacular way the history of one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers, and the designers who have succeeded him.
Over 200 rare Haute Couture garments and 500 objects, alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, drawings, perfumes and even some of Christian Dior’s personal items, are shown across the 11 sections of the exhibition. Beyond the impressive figures, exploring the different rooms one after the other feels like walking through a never ending fairy tale, like a dream you wish you could retain forever.
Among the most breathtaking sections, Travels explores how the different countries and culture have inspired the designers at the House of Dior., from Egypt to Japan or Mexico. The Garden, with its thousands of paper flowers cascading down from the ceiling, is a truly magical place, the perfect setting to the many dresses inspired by the beauty of nature. The Designers for Dior spotlight is quite spectacular as well, with key garments designed by the different designers over the years, from Yves Saint-Laurent to Maria Grazia Chiuri, including Gianfranco Ferré and John Galliano. Finally, the Ballroom is as dazzling as the name suggests, with stunning examples of evening wear, showcasing the incredible virtuosity of the haute couture ateliers.
Before exiting the exhibition, an oval frame on a black wall showcases in a simple yet dramatic fashion images from the House of Dior’s runway shows over the years, and we can’t help but watch for as long as we can, never wanting to leave this gorgeous exhibition.
The exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams runs from 2 February – 14 July 2019 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.