Christian Dior — Designer of Dreams at V&A Museum in London

Christian Dior

Designer of Dreams at V&A Museum in London

Last October curator Oriole Cullen announced the biggest fashion exhibition undertaken by one of London’s best museums – Victoria & Albert, an extravagant celebration of Christian Dior’s history and influence.

Up until January of 2018, the showcase was held in Paris and it gained appreciation from critics and fashion buffs to people that knew next to nothing about fashion alike. It truly is not just about fashion, but art, history and culture as well. The pieces showcased take you through a story of how a handful of people were both influenced by society and influenced society over decades of work, focusing on authentic concepts and details.

                                                                                                                           V&A Dior in London, Dior Exhibition in Paris

Keeping to the original exhibit, the collection starts from Dior’s 1947 “New Look” debut and weaves a beautiful story of his vision and the vision of those that came after him. The “New Look” – an opulent full, calf-length skirt with a full bust, shocked a post-war reality of modesty and restriction and re-established Paris as the true fashion-influencer it had previously been.

“People often don’t know the difference between how a haute couture and a ready-to-wear piece are made, they might look at it and think it’s all fashion. But the story of the atelier and what happens in there is incredible.” – Cullen
Christian Dior’s New Look 1947 – it can be admired at the V&A museum in London


The house gained quick attention and world-famous icons inundated it with orders as Christian Dior was invited to stage a private presentation for the British Royal family. The V&A showcase chose to steer the focus of the collection for British audiences – one room dedicated to the special attention Dior payed to British culture and royalty.

Central here is the iconic off-the-shoulder couture Dior dress made for Princess Margaret’s 21st birthday party in 1951 – her ‘favourite dress of all’.

Princess Margaret’s 21st birthday Dior gown – V&A Museum


If clothes come close to an art form, they can do it through the energy of the people that choose to wear them – this being something that the exhibition does, as it showcases outfits and gowns that dressed real people and tell the stories of their time. From the British Princess to Audrey Hepburn to today’s Rihanna, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlize Theron, and Lupita Nyong’o Dior has been a great pragmatist – knowing how to choose the people to wear the designs and where to practice creativity.


Today’s artistic director at Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri, is the House’s first female designer. She seems to capture Christian Dior’s respect and softness for women as well as his fantasy-like creativity. Her debut couture collection featured fairytale-inspired floor length gowns, with models adorned with elaborate flower and feather headpieces, reminiscent of a time Dior was dominated by romantic aesthetics, featuring a fresh spin on Dior’s most recognisable jacket.
It quickly became apparent that Chiuri had a plan to inject some social awareness into Dior. She went on to draw harsher lines, moving the house forward, paying respect to the heritage of adapting to current society.

“Dior stands for femininity. Okay, but I think we can find something more than a flower. We have to speak about women today.” – Maria Grazia Chiuri

Dior by Maria-Grazia Chiuri – SS 2017

No one would have ever thought the sellout item of a Dior season would be a t-shirt but Chiuri did just that. Her plain black or white ‘WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS’ shirt — the title of the Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s manifesto — became a sensation after Rihanna posted a picture of herself wearing it.

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