The new V&A fashion exhibition is going to be even bigger than the McQueen one

Sharpen your stylishly clad elbows, because there’s a major fashion exhibition coming to the V&A next year, and you’re going to want to be the first in the queue.

The museum has announced the largest ever Christian Dior exhibition, set to be the biggest since Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty in 2015.

Launching in February 2019, it will cover everything you need to know about the House of Dior, from 1947 to the present day, showcasing the impact of one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers, and the six artistic directors who have succeeded him, to explore the enduring influence of the fashion house.

Princess Margaret (left), with the Duchess of Marlborough behind, presents Christian Dior with a scroll entitling him to Honorary Life Membership of the British Red Cross after the presentation of his Winter Collection at Blenheim Palace on 3rd November 1954
© Popperfoto / Getty Images

Based on the Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve exhibition in Paris, it will be re-imagined, with a new section exploring the couturier’s fascination with British culture – for example, he loved Saville Row suits, loved Britain’s great houses and gardens and founded Christian Dior London in 1952, and the dress he created for Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday will be on display.

Christian Dior with model Sylvie, circa 1948
Courtesy of Christian Dior

The exhibition will present over 500 objects, with over 200 rare Haute Couture garments shown alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, perfume, make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions.

It will also look at the creative directors who followed in Christian’s footsteps, from the daring designs of Yves Saint Laurent to the rational style of Marc Bohan, the flamboyance of Gianfranco Ferré, the exuberance of John Galliano, the minimalism of Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s feminist vision of fashion.

Oriole Cullen, Fashion and Textiles Curator at the V&A, said: ‘In 1947, Christian Dior changed the face of fashion with his ‘New Look’, which redefined the female silhouette and reinvigorated the post-War Parisian fashion industry. The V&A recognised Dior’s important contribution to design history early-on in his career, acquiring his sketches and garments from the 1950s onwards. The influence of Christian Dior’s design was all-pervasive and helped to define an era. In their own individual ways, each of the House’s successive artistic directors have referenced and reinterpreted Dior’s own designs and continued the legacy of the founder, ensuring that the House of Christian Dior is at the forefront of fashion today. More than seventy years after its founding, the V&A’s exhibition will celebrate the enduring influence of the House of Dior and uncover Dior’s relationship with Britain.’

Tickets will go on sale from the Autumn, so don’t miss out (info below)

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams
The Sainsbury Gallery
2 February – 14 July 2019
vam.ac.uk | #DesignerofDreams

If you can’t quite wait until next year, we do have a consolation prize, as the V&A has also announced who their next Fashion in Motion (their series which makes the live fashion experience accessible to a wide audience, against the backdrop of the V&A’s Raphael Gallery) designer is, and it’s a good one: Holly Fulton.

The free show will take place on 20th July, and tickets go on sale on 9th July at 10am (visit vam.ac.uk/articles/fashion-in-motion-holly-fulton).

Born in Scotland, Holly established her eponymous label in 2009 and has been awarded numerous accolades including a British Fashion Award, ELLE New Designer and several Scottish Fashion Awards including Innovator of the Year 2016.

‘I am honoured and delighted to be showing in partnership with the V&A for Fashion in Motion. As an institution, the V&A holds special resonance from my days studying at the RCA; it was a bastion of culture that I held very dear when I arrived in London and it offered me inspiration, stimulation and generous scones when the creative juices were not flowing,’ she said.

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