christian dior

Photo courtesy of British Vogue

Christian Dior is Most-Visited V&A Exhibition

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Sep. 4 2019, Published 6:21 p.m. ET

British Vogue reports that “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” has officially surpassed “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” to become London‘s Victoria & Albert Museum‘s most-visited exhibition. The show’s run was extended for seven additional weeks, and received a total number of 594,994 visitors while the McQueen exhibit’s 2015 record reached over 100,000 visitors.

The colossal retrospective traced the history and impact of the couturier and his six succeeding artistic directors. Some 200 rare couture garments and 500 objects of accessories, beauty, media, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions were on display at the exhibition led by fashion and textiles curator Oriole Cullen and set designer Nathalie Crinière. The V&A team reimagined the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve by Paris’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs for the Knightsbridge gallery space in southwest London. Curator Oriole Cullen told Vogue about her in-depth research of the 21-year-old man from Normandy who connected with the country upon his first visit:

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“It’s a story that hasn’t really been told before. It was a very formative moment, and something he really associates with freedom and falling in love. From the grandeur of the great houses and gardens and British-designed ocean liners to the food he ate, which, most found less than appealing in the 50’s, the culture became an endless pool of inspiration for him. And he loved British women – the way they wore their tweeds as well as their ballgowns.”

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“It’s a story that hasn’t really been told before. It was a very formative moment, and something he really associates with freedom and falling in love. From the grandeur of the great houses and gardens and British-designed ocean liners to the food he ate, which, most found less than appealing in the 50’s, the culture became an endless pool of inspiration for him. And he loved British women – the way they wore their tweeds as well as their ballgowns.”

“We worked closely with the house and Soizic Pfaff, the wonderful archivist there, since the 60’s, so they were happy for the Paris exhibition to come to us,” Cullen continued. “The V&A audience has a real hunger for fashion, so we thought it would be great to show the amazing spectacle through our own lens.”

Tickets for the entire run were sold out in three weeks after opening on February 2. Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A, expressed that the museum has “a history of staging revelatory fashion exhibitions,” and they knew that “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” would be popular. Yet, they did not anticipate the phenomenal visitor response and were pleasantly overwhelmed.

The V&A team’s next big thing is “Tim Walker: Wonderful Things.” The new exhibition will be the third solo show of the British fashion photographer, and it opens on September 21.

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