Time for some exciting news: the V&A is all set to open one of their biggest fashion exhibits since ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty’ in 2015, with an ode to the prestigious House of Dior. ‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’, which open doors to the public in February 2019, will trace the history and impact of the label under its namesake founder and the six artistic directors who succeeded him. This exhibition, spanning its origins in 1947 to the present day, is being put together as we speak by fashion and textiles curator at the V&A, Oriole Cullen, and set designer Nathalie Crinière.
In an exclusive with Vogue UK, Cullen reveals, “We have about 50 per cent new content and it is all haute couture. 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 its helm. The garments themselves speak volumes, so this is very much a show that focuses on the fashion.”
Along with 11 sections, including ‘The New Look’, which focuses on Dior’s famed Bar suit and ‘The Dior Line’ composed of the designer’s 10 defining looks from 1947 to 1957, is an installation that studies the then young designer’s fascination with Britain. Moving beyond working with Princess Margaret on some of her most iconic looks, it looks at his inspirations, from the grand old houses to luxury ocean liners designed by the British and 50s culture that cropped up periodically in his tenure at the fashion house.
The exhibition also examines the work of successive artistic directors – Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri. It is a stunningly gorgeous investigation of the sensibilities of each which has shaped the aesthetics of the label over the years. With equal weight given to each creative director, this is not just an exploration of Christian Dior, the man and designer, but of the brand that has become a beloved staple for aficionados of classic cuts and edgy haute couture alike.
With the curation of close to 500 objects, the mammoth task undertaken by Cullen and her team would not be possible with the contributions of the legendary fashion house. In Cullen’s words, “We’ve worked closely with the house and Soizic Pfaff, the wonderful archivist there since the ’60s, so they were happy for the Paris exhibition to come to us. The V&A audience has a real hunger for fashion, so we thought it would be great to show the amazing spectacle through our own lens.”
The exhibition will run from February 2 to July 14, 2019 in the V&A’s Sainsbury Gallery. What are you waiting for? Book your tickets, today!