• Spoken with Style

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Updated: Feb 5, 2019

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams at the Victoria and Albert Museum is the first major fashion exhibition I won't have the pleasure of visiting thanks to my ongoing visa application...I'm still confused why a foreign travel ban is necessary while applying to be a permanent resident.

I'm almost certain no one would waste the thousands we have spent, thus far, to leave the country and not return!! Anyway...I asked a friend who was also invited to the preview to share some 📸 so I didn't feel too left out!

This retrospective exhibition about a Frenchman opens in my previous home city, of London, at a turbulent time in UK history, with the chaotiscm of Brexit. Two years ago, immediately after the referendum my emotion began with concern & sadness, which has developed over this time into anger. How ironic that this exhibition showcases the Frenchman Couturier's love of England.

Christian Dior wasn't immediately popular, with the British public, and faced heavy criticism...at what was seen as an overuse of fabric. When Dior presented his first collection, the British government were paying back wartime loans, austerity was hard. Dior's 'New Look' was only two years after the end of WW2 and the clothes were not only a departure from the previous utilitarian and austere styles, but also the beginning of a new era in fashion.

Dior rejected the established way of dressing in the 20s & 30s and instead presented femininity and form. Highlighting the waist with fitted jackets and padding the hips. This was all about petite waists and A-line skirts. Also, this New Look was achieved primarily though foundation garments, although corsetry, regarded as an inessential garment, was banned under rationing.

The UK government attempted to deny The New Look existed. Alison Settle, former editor of British Vogue, was forbidden by the Board of Trade, to mention Dior in the magazine!

Outraged women attacked the earliest adopters on the street, aghast at what they saw was a waste of material. However the brand found popularity when women wanted to embrace the soft and romanticism of Dior's vision.

Dior: Designer of Dreams opens Feb 2nd and charts the brand's history from 1947 to present day, there's over 500 pieces & 200 couture gowns alone. Visit & make me wildly envious!

Click for tickets: https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/dior-designer-of-dreams

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