Sunday, 11 August 2019

Dior - inspired by history

Visiting the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at the V&A Museum this week, I did not expect to see anything related to the eighteenth century.  So it was a pleasant surprise to have a whole room dedicated to historical inspirations.

These images are just a glimpse of some of the Dior creations from just one room of this exhibition.

I think what these photographs just cannot do justice to is the beadwork and embroidery - all created by hand and a testament to the skill of the unnamed craftsmen and women who make each of these items unique.

Attention to detail includes the stand for the perfume bottles:

The exhibition itself is not just about Christian Dior (1905-1957), although a section about him begins the display.  Instead is is about the fashion house he created.  After his early death in 1957 this couture business has had five other artistic directors responsible for its women's wear - Yves Saint-Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferro, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.  The designs of all these also featured in the show.  

Beginning with the 'New Look' as well as historical inspirations there are pieces inspired by travel and by nature.  The nature room not only has some beautiful clothing but the paper flower decorations provided a real 'wow' factor on their own.

Another room (almost entirely in white) refers to the physical making of the clothes by displaying toiles - the 'mock ups' that help develop the structure of the work.  Another favourite was the diorama dedicated to accessories and ancillary elements - design work, photography, perfume, miniature costumes, etc.  The ballroom at the end is a spectacular finale - not just for the clothes but for the display itself.  

The exhibition continues until 1st September 2019 - but access now is limited to those who already have a ticket, members and a few tickets on the day.

For more about this fabulous exhibition it is worth visiting the V&A website which includes this clip giving a glimpse of how the exhibition was put together -

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