CHRISTIAN DIOR: DESIGNER OF DREAMS
“You can never take too much care over the choice of your shoes. Too many women think that they are unimportant, but the real proof of an elegant woman is what is on her feet.” - Christian Dior
Last week, the Sante + Wade team were lucky enough to visit the Christian Dior exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition is titled “The designer of dreams” and the title could not have been more apt.
We saw over 200 dresses, many of which have never been seen in public. We also learned about the fascinating history of the man and the couture house which still bears his name.
“Elegance must be the right combination of distinction, naturalness, care and simplicity. Outside this, believe me, there is no elegance. Only pretension.”
Christian Dior was born into a wealthy family in Normandy. As a child he shared his mother’s love of gardens. His early passions included architecture and designing fancy dress costumes for his friends. Architecture and flowers are recurring themes in his work.
When his family’s fortunes collapsed following the 1929 financial crisis, Dior found a way to make a living through fashion drawing. He eventually worked with top couturiers Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong.
The House of Dior
“Individuality will always be one of the conditions of real elegance.”
In 1946,Dior’s first collection the ‘New Look’ made an instant impact around the world. Venerating the female form and hourglass shapes, the New Look reflected simplicity, structure and tiny waistlines; an upside-down flower.
“After women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world.” – Christian Dior
On the flower theme, the garden room was one of our favourites. Imagine a dress with hundreds of feathers pressed, dyed and hand-stitched to resemble flowers. The mind boggles. But this is haute couture after all!
While strolling through the exhibition, in a happy fashion daze, we were also able to see accessories, fashion photography, film, vintage perfume, original make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions.
Dior dies in his prime, but the brand lives on
Christian Dior died on 24thOctober 1957, in the prime of his career, but the house of Dior continued to flourish under the guidance of its creative directors including Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferre, John Galliano and Raf Simons.
The current director, Maria Grazia Churri, is the first woman in the brand’s 69-year history. She is said to havetransformed one of fashion's most feminine labels into one of the most feminist.
Dior still dresses some of the most well know celebrities – including Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lawrence and Lupita Nyong’o to name just a few.
Dior, we still adore you.
__Tickets for Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams are still available for V&A members.