Sunday 1 September 2019


Christian Dior was a pioneer in the fragrance world, believing no gown was complete without a spritz of perfume. He insisted that the Dior salons were sprayed with his signature fragrance before his shows started, so his clients could benefit from the complete Christian Dior experience. And like Charles Worth, before him, he recognised the importance of gifting fragrance to his loyal Haute Couture customers.  

His heady scents, limited-edition bottles and packaging, plus inspiring fragrance and beauty campaigns by fashion illustrator Rene Gruau, play a pivotal role in the V&A's blockbuster exhibition, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams and tell the story of the launch of Mis Dior in 1947 and the many more fragrance and beauty developments instigated by the eponymous designer and his successors.

From the inspiring wall of vintage and modern magazine covers depicting Christian Dior Haute Couture, RTW and beauty, to the room dedicated to fragrance and flowers, the V&A's exhibition is an ode to fashion to perfume. 

Cover look: The scarlet Florentine coat by Christian Dior Haute Couture AW53 illustrated by
Rene Bouche for British Vogue January 1954, price 3/6

Cover beauty: Christian Dior Haute Couture and make-up on the cover of
Le Jardin des Modes, September 1947, price 60f

Miss Dior travel set, 1949. Glass, metal and cardboard, featuring Dior's signature
houndstooth weave printed on the box and etched in glass

Miss Dior limited edition, Baccarat blue crystal, 1947 
© Antoine Kralik for Christian Dior Parfums. Parfums Christian Dior

Baccarat crystal bottle designed by Christian Dior for Diorissimo perfume, 1956
Photo © Laziz Hamani. Christian Dior Parfums collection

1950 Miss Dior perfume display case by one of Christian Dior's favourite interior
designers, Victor Grandpierre, in metal, satin and wood. The case

was inspired by the Temple of Love at the Petit Trianon at Versailles

Illustration of a swan for an early Miss Dior campaign by fashion illustrator,
Rene Gruau, 1949. Gruau created many of the most memorable images for
Parfums Christian Dior 

12: Christian Dior preparing a Miss Dior cocktail, 1950; 1: Design for Miss Dior
display illustrated by interior designer Victor Grandpierre, 1949

Right: Eau Fraiche Parfum Christian Dior flacon, metal and bakelite, 1950's. Left: Special edition
bottle of Diorisssimo designed by Christian Dior. Crystal bottle by Baccarat,
gilded bronze floral stopper by Maison Charles, 1956

Christian Dior Parfums lipsticks and nail varnish from 1965-70,
plus Christian Dior cosmetics display sign

Diorling by Parfums Christian Dior, display case, 1963

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