J'Adore Dior: V&A Gives Us Another Spectacular Fashion Exhibition

Christian Dior: Designer Of Dreams, V&A ★★★★★

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 62 months ago

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Last Updated 05 April 2019

J'Adore Dior: V&A Gives Us Another Spectacular Fashion Exhibition Christian Dior: Designer Of Dreams, V&A 5
Now this is how you design the entrance of an exhibition. Copyright Adrien Dirand.

We're looking at a Christian Dior Bar Suit from 1947, when a fellow Londonist writer sidles up and tells us that this is the dress that made her fall in love with fashion. Such is the power of Christian Dior, a designer who changed the look of female fashion from the post-war boxy dresses to elegant curves — though this tight-waisted number in front of us must have been a nightmare to get into.

It's just one dress in V&A's truly jaw-dropping exhibition on Christian Dior, which every fashion fan is going to want to see. Packed with beautiful dresses, fabulous exhibition design and sheer class, it’s a fashionista’s dream exhibition.

The whole exhibition oozes style. Copyright Adrien Dirand.

We enter the heart of the exhibition through a mock neoclassical arch, with 'Christian Dior' embossed on the wall. V&A is consistent in adding lovely little touches like this to an exhibition, bringing a sense of wonder which only adds to the experience of a blockbuster show.

The exhibition charts the evolution of the brand from the simple elegance of Dior’s own designs to the extravagance of the John Galliano era. Galliano’s Egypt series — where mannequins have a jackal and an Egyptian sarcophagus head — is ridiculously over the top and a contrast to the earlier simple and chic designs.

Flowers descend from the ceiling to match the floral dresses. Copyright Adrien Dirand.

A selection of floral dresses is placed in a room where paper cut flowers dangle from the ceiling, while a separate room features classic dresses on a round pedestal surrounded by classical columns. This exhibition oozes class and style throughout, the design of the setting perfectly complementing the design of the clothing.

Just when we think it couldn’t get better, we enter the final room, a stylish ballroom filled with beautiful evening wear. As we stand transfixed by the lovely dresses worn by celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, the room around us begins to morph into something new.

The final ballroom is outrageously immersive. Copyright Adrien Dirand.

Daylight streaming in from the sides turns to night as explosions from the ceiling rain down the walls, before the sky turns into a starry mix of constellations. It’s all done with projectors and lighting, and it's utterly spellbinding as the dresses sparkle in both the day and evening's light.

As Dior himself once said:

A ballgown is your dream, and it must make you a dream

This writer is no follower of fashion, placing comfort above elegance when it comes to clothing, and yet found it impossible to avoid being hypnotised by how chic and en vogue this exhibition is. J'adore Dior.

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is on at V&A until 1 September 2019. Tickets cost from £20-24 with prices dearer in the opening weeks. Booking ahead is highly recommended (and a necessity on busier days such as weekends) — this is going to be a popular one.