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V&A unveils giant Dior exhibit with unprecedented collection on show

Published
today Jan 30, 2019
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As brand marketing goes, a major exhibition at one of the world’s leading cultural institutions is almost as good as it gets and the Dior label will get a major boost this spring as the V&A stages its Dior Designer of Dreams exhibition.


The new Dior exhibition at the V&A is set to make a major impact this year



The museum unveiled the exhibition on Tuesday evening at a special event that gave us a first look at an “unprecedented display” of haute couture garments.

It focuses on “the skill and expertise of both the ateliers and the designers, showcasing the craftsmanship that continues to emanate from the House of Dior.”

It also pairs the rare couture garments with design drawings, fashion illustrations and “extraordinary” fashion photographs, all charting seven decades of the label.

While the V&A said it is unprecedented, it has to be said that it’s actually a reworking of the earlier retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, but with a quirkier London edge.

And to coincide with the opening of the exhibition, the V&A's next live #FashioninMotion catwalk on February 8 will showcase the work of Central Saint Martins students, inspired by Dior.

Guests at the Tuesday evening event got a sneak peek at the show that actually opens on February 2 and runs until July 19.

It’s the biggest UK show yet for the label and also the most wide-ranging. And that also makes it the biggest the V&A has staged yet with 200 haute couture garments and 300 other objects connected to the brand. 

Given the impact made by earlier exhibitions at the museum, such as the game-changing Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty from 2015 and the Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion show from 2017, it’s likely to see high visitor numbers.

The show itself features 10 rooms arranged by themes, moving from the starting point of 1947’s New Look through the Yves Saint Laurent era, then Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

It also looks at Christian Dior himself and the influences that shaped him before his official entry into the fashion world, as well as taking time for some of the women who have famously worn the label, particularly British clients such as the young Princess Margaret and Margot Fonteyn.

And the collaborators who’ve made an impact on the label aren’t forgotten either with luxury milliner Stephen Jones and shoe label Roger Vivier also included.

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