May 24, 2019

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams at V&A Museum

Dior, ecarlate afternoon dress.

The exhibition is a in fact a reconfiguration of the 2017 Paris show, Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve held at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, with a different thematic journey, 60 percent new items as well as an original installation celebrating the affection that the Norman designer Dior profound held for England after his stay in the country to learn the language at the age of twenty-one. 

Set up by fashion and textiles curator Oriole Cullen and set designer Nathalie Crinière, 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. 

The narrative of the exhibition begins with Dior’s lifetime to subsequently move further from to the themes that inspired him.  The extensive “Travels” section looks at the idea of cultural appreciation and what it means today; “The Garden” room is a sensory delight with paper wisteria, clematis, lily of the valley and Princess Margaret-roses cascading from the ceiling; and “Diorama” is a curiosity closet of colour-coded accessories, trinkets and 123 magazine covers from 1947 to the present day. 

“The Ballroom” section: the all-out unabashed celebration of the glamour of Dior and the fantasy that’s contained within a ballroom. Displayed within the last section are the liquid-gold numbers Charlize Theron wore in the J’adore fragrance adverts during her 20 years as brand ambassador; the first dress Galliano designed at the helm of the house for Diana, Princess of Wales to wear in 1996; and other extravagant Galliano creations that took six people to mount and are a testament to the strength of the models that wore them.

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