Sunday, 1 September 2019

CHRISTIAN DIOR: DESIGNER OF DREAMS AT THE V&A

How fabulous was the V&A's Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition?

I visited the show five times during its extended run and each time I saw something more extraordinary or learnt something else about the venerable fashion house. I also enjoyed taking friends to see the exhibition and watching their reactions to this spectacle of fashion, beauty, fragrance and history.

As the show closes, here are a few of my favourite images that highlight the story behind the House of Dior:



Christian Dior in his atelier with model Sylvie, circa 1948 Courtesy of Christian Dior

Christian Dior in his atelier with his leading house model Lucky, circa 1955 Courtesy of Christian Dior





Royal Portrait of Princess Margaret on her 21st birthday in 1951 wearing a Christian Dior evening gown. Photograph by Cecil Beaton (19041980)
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Princess Margaret (left), with the Duchess of Marlborough behind, presents Christian Dior with a scroll entitling him to Honorary Life Membership of the British Red Cross after the presentation of his Winter Collection at Blenheim Palace on 3rd November 1954
© Popperfoto / Getty Images


Sketch by Christian Dior for model Londres, Haute Couture, Autumn/Winter 1950
© Christian Dior

Sketch by Christian Dior for model Oxford, Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 1947
© Christian Dior


Christian Dior (1905–57), Bar Suit, Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 1947, Corolle Line. This was a Dior's first collection, dubbed by Carmel Snow, editor-in-chief, of Harper's Bazaar as the New Look
Photo © Laziz Hamani. Victoria and Albert Museum, London


A legendary address: 30 Avenue Montaigne, circa 1947 Dior Héritage collection, Paris




January 1954 cover of British Vogue, illustrated by Rene Bouche, featuring the Florentine coat
from the Christian Dior Haute Couture Autumn/Winter 1953 Vivante collection 


Christian Dior (1905–57), Fête joyeuse, Evening Dress, Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1955, Line
Photo © Laziz HamaniVictoria and Albert Museum, London


Christian Dior (1905–57), Avril, Dress, Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 1955, Line
Gift of Mrs. Philippe Hecht, 962.18.A-B

Photo © Laziz Hamani

Object courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum Dior Héritage collection, Paris

Images from the Christian Dior London boutique at 9 Conduit Street, which opened in 1961
and is now home to Sketch


Yves Saint Laurent, former assistant to Christian Dior, was only 21 when he was appointed
Creative Director  of the fashion house in 1957, following the death of Dior.
He left in 1960 to set up his eponymous fashion label


Yves Saint Laurent in front of Christian Dior London, 11th November 1958
© Popperfoto/Getty Images

Marc Bohan, creative director of Christian Dior from 1960 - 1989. He was the long-serving
head designer of the House of Dior


Metallic shift dress by Marc Bohan for Christian Dior Haute Couture SS68


Italian designer Gianfranco Ferre was creative director of Christian Dior
from 1989 - 1996

Forcement (Necessarily) silk gazer/shantung dress by Gianfranco Ferre from the
 Christian Dior 'Rendez-vous d'Amour' Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1991 collection



Regency striped silk jacket by Gianfranco Ferre for Christian Dior RTW SS93


Christian Dior appointed London designer John Galliano as creative director in 1996.
He injected a sense of drama and fantasy in his collections and presentations.
Galliano left the House in 2011


Christian Dior by John Galliano (b.1960), Haute Couture, Autumn/Winter 2004
Photo © Laziz Hamani. Dior Héritage collection, Paris

Christian Dior by John GallianoJ’adoreDress, Haute Couture, 2008 (custom-made)
Photo © Laziz Hamani. Christian Dior Parfums collection, Paris

Diosera wool crepe jacket and leather skirt by John Galliano from the Christian Dior 
Haute Couture Spring/Summer 1997 collection. Leather hat by Stephen Jones for Christian Dior 

Raf Simons was appointed creative director of Christian Dior in 2012 and 
added a minimalist sensibility to his collections for the House. He left in 2015




Christian Dior by Raf Simons (b.1968), Coat, Haute Couture, Autumn/Winter 2012
Photo © Laziz Hamani. Dior Héritage collection, Paris


The current creative director of Christian Dior is Italian designer Maria Grazia Chiuri, 
the first woman to head the design atelier at Dior. She was 
appointed to the role in 2016  



Christian Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri (b. 1964), Dress, Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 2018
Photo © Laziz Hamani. Dior Héritage collection, Paris




The New Look: Signature Maria Grazia Chiuri styling for Christian Dior RTW SS17, and her
modern-spin on the Christian Dior Haute Couture SS47 Bar suit.
D-Fence cotton visor created by Stephen Jones

Left: Silk organza dress from the Tulipe line by Christian Dior for Christian Dior
Haute Couture SS53. Right: Mexican influences from Maria Grazia Chiuri for
Christian Dior Cruise collection 2019

The Ateliers room at the V&A: Christian Dior toiles line the walls to illustrate the workmanship
of the
petites mains that create the exquisite Haute Couture garments

Close-up of a toile for a Christian Dior Bar jacket 



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