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Check Dior’s ‘Designer of Dreams’ exhibition from home

Published: July 27, 2020

As the coronavirus crisis continues – and many of us find ourselves several weeks into an indefinite period of self-isolation – cultural relief is not only welcome, but necessary. In this spirit, Dior has made its Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition available to view online, meaning that you can lose yourself in 70 years of visionary fashion from the comfort of your home.

Originally held at Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs from 2017 to 2018, and the following year at the V&A in London, the blockbuster exhibition traces the evolution of the house of Dior from its advent in post-war Paris – where Christian Dior ushered in an era of elegance with his revolutionary ‘New Look’ – to the present day, via the legendary creative directors who have succeeded him.

Dior is providing a behind-the-scenes insight into the making of the exhibition, plus a virtual tour of its many rooms, via a captivating documentary on the house’s YouTube channel and a series of archival posts on Instagram. The documentary follows Designer of Dreams’ curators Florence Müller and Olivier Gabet as they piece together the exhibition, collating extraordinary pieces of couture from the house’s archive, plus precious archival photographs, original sketches by Christian Dior, objects and accessories, alongside prolific artworks by great masters, furniture and a treasure trove of artefacts.

The documentary sees Müller tour through Dior’s remarkable archives, detailing the house’s history with a near-encyclopedic knowledge. One moment sees the reveal of the quintessential 1947 Bar Suit – a design which went against the angular, masculine silhouettes of post-war Europe with its curved, elegant shape. “The Bar Suit is an icon, not just of Dior, but in the history of couture and fashion,” Müller says. “It is very rare in fashion to have such a definitive break, a revolution brought into play with one collection.” Müller also reveals the influence of Christian Dior’s successors – from the “spectacular richness” of Yves Saint Laurent, to Marc Bohan’s dedication to classicism and Galliano’s “treasure trove of technical imagination”. “We even nicknamed him the punk couturier,” Müller recalls.

Meanwhile, Gabet explores the connection between the world of art and the house of Dior, sourcing remarkable works and artefacts for the exhibition, including ancient Egyptian pieces from the Louvre – to accompany Galliano’s iconic S/S04 collection – 18th-century Parisian furniture, paintings by great masters and modern works by the likes of Sterling Ruby, which featured in Raf Simons’ Dior Couture A/W12 collection. Elsewhere, we hear from Dior collaborators such as milliner Stephen Jones, and current creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, who reflects on heritage and the importance of innovation. “Today I don’t think it’s possible to speak only about clothes,” she says. “We are speaking about women. My dialogue is part of my time. I think it’s very important to express that we are all different.”

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