REVIEW: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria and Albert Museum

This sleek and sophisticated exhibition offers a fascinating insight into the world of Christian Dior and how the brand has evolved over the years.

Stunningly creative and beautiful to wonder around, the Victoria and Albert Museum have once again raised the bar when it comes to their fashion exhibitions with this celebration of Christian Dior and the sophisticated style he brought to his clothing.

Divided into a number of different themes, each space in this gigantic exhibition offers a deeply compelling insight into every element into the way in which Christian Dior originally worked and how numerous designers have kept up his legacy to fashion in their own way.

From the early years and the fitted tailoring that encapsulates what Dior was all about to the more contemporary styles created by the likes of Marc Bohan, Raf Simons and Dior’s first female Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri, this is an exhibition that truly reflects the passion but also the simplicity of what Dior stands for.

Every section has a strong purpose and own individual style, with the sections inspired by history and gardens proving to be particular highlights. These sections as well as a travel inspired room highlight just how diverse Dior’s ideas were and continue to be – even if some more recent ideas are possibly more flamboyant than some of its more classic pieces on display.

As with previous fashion exhibitions (with the Alexander Queen one springing to mind first), the Victoria and Albert Museum have shown extraordinary attention to detail to every element of the exhibition as possible to offer a fully comprehensive and memorable showcase for Dior. This is not only evidenced by the amazing number of outfits on display, but also the numerous sketches and other technical details that are behind the ideas that keep the visitor drawn into just how these items were created.

Everywhere you look there is something unexpected to discover and it is clear that the curators have put in an extraordinary amount of research in order to create the best possible display possible.

There is a sense of drama and theatricality about the whole exhibition that is to be admired, yet there are moments when it feels slightly superficial and lacks in creating a meaningful argument as to what makes Dior so enduring – preferring to allow the outfits to speak for themselves.

That being said, this is still a glamorous and enjoyable exhibition to wonder around, filled with plenty of surprises that (this is no exaggeration) definitely took my breath away. Exciting, glamorous and stunning this is a display that captures perfectly how Dior has evolved over the decades as attitudes towards fashion have changed.

By Emma Clarendon

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum until the 1st September.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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