Label News Editor, Izzy Brann, reviews the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Dior Exhibition.
From 1947 to the present day, the Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at London’s V&A explores the influence and career of Christian Dior himself, and his successors, with the fashion house that changed couture.
I have always admired Dior, especially since Maria Chiuri Grazia took centre stage as creative director in 2015, with her iconic ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ t-shirt. The classic silhouettes, the ethical awareness and the timeless attention to detail, should be admired by all. The exhibition provided an opportunity for such admiration without having to shell out £500 for a singular t-shirt.
Tracing the history of Dior with England, the now sold out exhibition, opened in a room of glossy white brick and pristine cases. It introduced the monochrome essence of Dior with the iconic ‘New Look’ suit that allowed the house to shoot to fame in the 1950s. The display was stunning and the introductory notes to the company’s founding interesting, but the only problem was that you couldn’t really see a garment in full or read the accompanying information. While the event was ticketed, the room was packed and the plaques all but rubbed off, in a testament to its popularity. This set the tone for the entire exhibition, but even so, it remained enchanting.
From glossy black cases and neon lighting, with Princess Margaret’s iconic debutante dress, to Versailles inspired designs and homage to world travel, the exhibition made its way through the history of the fashion house. The curators focused on perfumes as well as clothing while displaying the multitude of different influences and their role in the designs to the present day. The exhibition went from room to room with new wonders at each turn. However, undoubtedly the most impressive and immersive section was ‘The Garden’ room. Here, you can find florals and feathers; all gowns and garments inspired by Dior’s love of the garden. The set design was breath-taking with the centerpiece of a modern gown, covered in flowers handcrafted from feathers, and a ceiling draped in paper flowers, lit to become iridescent and magical. The only problem in this room were the Instagram models and their ever committed boyfriends, hogging the limelight.
I would definitely recommend trying to see this exhibition, as Dior is even more spectacular up close as it is on the red carpet, and the set design is worth a visit alone. However, it could do with some essential upkeep for continued happy visitors. Aside from that, I found myself feeling slowly dejected by tiny waist after tiny waist and gown after gown; there was a distinct lack of variation throughout the exhibition, even with different cultural influences. Meanwhile, the mixture of modern and original Dior designs gave the exhibition a lack of structure and depth. While I was in awe, I left feeling like I hadn’t learnt anything Instagram hadn’t already told me.
Featured Image By: Omeiza Haruna