The king of couture: The lowdown on Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

It’s the V&A’s show of the year. Here’s our lowdown on Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams.

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Princess Margaret’s 21st birthday gown from 1951 – pictured here by Cecil Beaton – is a highlight of the exhibition. Image: Photo Studio/Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Spanning 1947 up to the present day, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, which has just opened at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, explores the work of the legendary French fashion designer.

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Christian Dior circa 1955 at his Paris atelier with his favourite model, Lucie Daouphars (known as Lucky). Image: Courtesy of Christian Dior

As well as couture gowns, including those worn by Princess Margaret, Margot Fonteyn and Jennifer Lawrence, the show reveals the inspirations behind Christian Dior’s vision – including a fascination with Britain – and explores how each of his successors have stayed true to his aesthetic: from the daring designs of Yves Saint Laurent and the exuberance of John Galliano to the minimalism of Raf Simons and the feminist vision of Maria Grazia Chiuri.

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A sketch by Christian Dior for the 1947 spring-summer haute couture collection. Image: Courtesy of Christian Dior

Dior’s personal possessions are also on show alongside accessories, perfume, make-up, photography, film, illustrations and magazines. 

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The Ecarlate silk cocktail dress from the 1955 autumn-winter haute couture collection. Image: Laziz Hamani

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams runs until 14 July. Tickets from £20, vam.ac.uk