The V&A is to stage the largest exhibition in the UK on the house of Dior in February 2019. Spanning 1947 to the present day, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams will trace the history and impact of the couturier, and the six artistic directors who have succeeded him at his namesake brand, in what will be the museum’s biggest fashion exhibition since Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty in 2015.
The exhibition will present over 500 objects, with over 200 rare haute couture garments, including the dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, and the iconic bar suit gifted to the museum in 1960. Christian Dior’s personal possessions will be shown alongside accessories, perfume, make-up, photography, film, illustrations and magazines that illustrate the different sensibilities that each successive artistic director – Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri – has brought to the house since.
“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,” Cullen, who holds the position of fashion and textiles curator at the V&A, said of Dior’s all-pervasive influence during that era. “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.