From Yves Saint Laurent’s approach to modern dressing to Jean-Paul Gautier’s notorious gutsy take on the brand and Raf Simmons’ clean lines and innovative thinking, all eras of the fashion house are explored.
The much-anticipated Dior: Designer of Dreams, opened its doors earlier this year at the esteemed Victoria and Albert museum in Knightsbridge. Like many eager spectators, I had high expectations for the sold-out exhibition, after the groundbreaking Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty changed the face of fashion exhibitions in 2015. Perhaps the most pertinent memory of the McQueen exhibition was the institution’s dedication to conveying the designer’s provocative and revolutionary aesthetic, keeping his conflicted spirit alive throughout the spectacle. Despite the high pressure of following up the iconic Alexander McQueen exhibition, Dior: Designer of Dreams does not disappoint.
The exhibition begins with an in-depth account of Christian Dior’s life and his modern ‘new look’ that catapulted his name to fame in the late 40’s. After his unprecedented death at the height of his career in 1957, the fashion house’s progression through the several successive creative directors is followed, showcasing the designer’s distinct adaptation to trends over generations. The clever curation of pieces reference the founder’s original designs and encompass his ideal of elegance and class in dressing women. From Yves Saint Laurent’s approach to modern dressing to Jean-Paul Gautier’s notorious gutsy take on the brand and Raf Simmons’ clean lines and innovative thinking, all eras of the fashion house are explored. The V&A even pays homage to London, including gowns designed and created for British Royalty, outlining Dior’s historic ties to the city, as they once operated a British division in the capital.
Along with the clothes themselves, the layout and design of the exhibition pays attention to every detail, encompassing Dior’s elegant and sophisticated ethos; from dainty perfume bottles to intricate paper flowers embellishing the white walls. The lighting and grandeur of the displays are truly breathtaking, each one creating a narrative and somehow outshining one another. It is a decadent feast for the eyes, taking every form, including garments, accessories, jewelry, architecture, film, sketches and photography. The exhibition is sure to impress anyone, whether you know your Lady Dior from your Diorama or Maria Grazia Chiuri from Marie Claire and Grazia. If you consider yourself a novice in haute couture or never thought twice about fashion, Dior: Designer of Dreams will appeal to all senses of appreciation of beauty, and is an experience not to miss if you find yourself in London.
Despite the high pressure of following up the iconic Alexander McQueen exhibition, Dior: Designer of Dreams does not disappoint.
Despite the many generations and creative directors of Dior, the label has consistently remained the flagship for elegance and class for stylish women around the world. Dior: Designer of Dreams pays homage to its rich history and to Christian Dior himself, highlighting his undeniable influence on fashion and its continuous impact on the industry.
Dior: Designer of Dreams is open until the first of September 2019.