The London museum will play host to the largest Dior exhibition in the UK

February 2019 will see the V&A stage the largest UK exhibition featuring creation from the house of Dior. Starting in 1947 and spanning across the decades through to the present day, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams will take visitors on a journey through the couturier’s remarkable history, as well as provide insight into the six artistic director who have succeeded him at his namesake brand. The exhibition is set the be the museum’s largest fashion exhibition since Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty in 2015.

Led by curator Oriole Cullen and designer Nathalie Crinière, the V&A team will reinterpret the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, originally organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, for the south-west London gallery space, adding a brand new section, which will explore the designer’s fascination with British culture. Dior was fascinated by the opulence and grandeur of British estates and gardens, as well as British-designed ocean liners such as the Queen Mary. His shows became increasing elaborate, often held in imposing stately homes, including Blenheim Palace in 1954, where he developed relationships with British clients, from the author Nancy Mitford to ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn.   

Over 500 objects will be on display, including over 200 rate haute couture pieces, such as the dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations. Christian Dior’s personal artefacts will also be shown alongside perfume, makeup, film, magazines and accessories.

“The V&A recognised Dior’s important contribution to design history early on in his career, acquiring his sketches and garments from the 1950s onwards,” curator Oriole Cullen explains. “In their own individual ways, each of the house’s successive artistic directors have referenced and reinterpreted Dior’s own designs and continued the legacy of the founder, ensuring that the house of Christian Dior is at the forefront of fashion today. More than 70 years after its founding, the V&A’s exhibition will celebrate the enduring influence of the house of Dior and uncover Dior’s relationship with Britain."

The exhibition "Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams" runs from February 2 – July 14, 2019 in the V&A’s Sainsbury Gallery. Tickets will go on sale in autumn 2018.

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