Whether you’re a devoted fashion enthusiast or just fleetingly interested in buying a new dress every now and then, the V&A’s latest exhibition looks set to transcend all categories as Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is so much more than a mere compilation of clothes.
From Princess Margaret’s 21st birthday gown to Rihanna’s iconic white Cannes Film Festival look, there are pop-culture references fit for historians and modern celebrity fanatics alike.
There are framed pencil sketches of beautiful feminine silhouettes by Christian Dior himself from 1947 hung up on the wall mere metres from the house’s current creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri’s wildly popular ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ t-shirts. The juxtaposition and yet seamlessness of the two visions epitomise the feeling of the exhibition’s entire curation. There may well have been eight designers at the helm over the years – each with their own signatures and staples – but there has always been one vision; to make strong, elegant women feel empowered through their clothes.
A look back at Dior’s most memorable red carpet moments ahead of the much-anticipated exhibition
“The influence of Christian Dior’s design was all-pervasive and helped o define an era”, said Oriole Cullen, the V&A’s fashion and textiles curator. “In their own individual ways, each of the house’s successive artistic directors have referenced and reinterpreted Dior’s own designs and continued the legacy of the founder, ensuring that the House of Christian Dior is at the forefront of fashion today.”
Headed up by Cullen and set designer Nathalie Crinière, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is the first fashion exhibition to be staged in the V&A’s new Amanda Levete-designed galleries, and the largest of its kind at the museum since Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty in 2015.
Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams runs from February 2 – July 14, with tickets from £20. All concessions cost £15.
Scroll down to see some of the exhibition’s highlights…