Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams has officially become the V&A’s most visited exhibition. The blockbuster show reached a staggering 594,994 visitors by the time it closed on 1 September, surpassing the former record set by Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty in 2015 by over 100,000 visitors.
The most comprehensive exhibition ever staged in the UK on the House of Dior, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams traced the history and impact of the brand from 1947 to the present day examining one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers, and the six artistic directors who have succeeded him. Drawn from the extensive Dior Archives and the V&A’s world-class Couture collections, the exhibition presented over 500 objects, with over 200 rare Haute Couture garments shown alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, vintage perfume, original make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions.
Based on the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, the show was reimagined for the V&A, with over 60 per cent of the objects unique to this exhibition, and a brand-new section exploring the designer’s fascination with British culture. The exhibition also highlighted the key creative partners of the House from the past 70 years, including Roger Vivier, Stephen Jones, René Gruau, Serge Lutens and Swarovski, Christian Dior’s first choice for crystals to embellish his creations.
The exhibition was extended by seven weeks due to unpreceded demand after tickets for the entire run sold out in a mere three weeks after opening on 2 February 2019. The critically acclaimed showcase also formed a vital inspiration for Maria Grazia Chiuri when designing Dior’s AW19 Ready-to-Wear Collection.
Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, said: “In 1947 Christian Dior changed the face of fashion, creating a lasting legacy that continues to inspire today. The V&A has a history of staging revelatory fashion exhibitions, so we knew that Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams would be popular, but we have been overwhelmed by the phenomenal visitor response since it opened in February. I would like to thank all our visitors who have gone to such great lengths to experience this extraordinary show.”
Read WIA’s review here.