Selling out within weeks of opening and with extended dates added due to unprecedented demand, it’s safe to say that Dior Designer of Dreams at the V&A is the must-see exhibition of 2019.
Booking my ticket in February, just eighteen days after opening, the earliest ticket I could secure was 9thJuly. Walking through the history of Dior’s designs, it was clear to see just why this exhibition has been so popular.
Based on the phenomenal Dior exhibition in Paris, Designer of Dreams is a reimagined version of this and explores, for the first time, Dior’s fascination with British culture.
“I adore the English, dressed not only in the tweeds which suit them so well, but also in those flowing dresses, in subtle colours.” Christian Dior, 1957.
Dior is more than saddle bags and newsprint dresses – thank you Sex and the City. The exquisite designs, details and artistry in each piece demonstrates the high level of skill involved from inception to completion. Nothing was off-limits for Dior’s inspiration, from eighteenth century Paris to the ancient cultures of Egypt and beyond.
Often citing historic periods in his designs, one of Dior’s loves was of the Belle Époque fashions worn by his mother Madeleine Dior. “I thank heaven I lived in Paris in the last years of the Belle Époque.” In this particular section of the exhibition, various references to the decorative arts of the era and lavish fashions at Versailles can be seen in this collection.
For me, the magic comes alive in The Ballroom section. This is pure fantasy and escapism and demonstrates what the ateliers are capable of. Alluding to the grand interiors of British houses, these creations embody structure and design in extraordinary ways.
Rare haute couture pieces are brought from the archives and presented alongside perfumes, accessories, classic designs and Dior’s personal possessions. With such a huge display of Dior’s design vision; from tailored suits to sequined boots and couture gowns, picking a stand-alone favourite is impossible, I can’t even pick a favourite section.
Walking through the exhibition is a journey through Dior’s history and creativity. Beginning with the iconic bar suit from the ground-breaking exhibition in 1947 and defining looks from the House of Dior.
Designer of Dreams is the most comprehensive UK exhibition on this remarkable and historic designer. If you have the opportunity to see it, then do so.
Have you been to this exhibition and what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments.