The exhibition traces the history and impact of the couturier, and the six artistic directors who have succeeded him at his namesake brand. As you travel through the various rooms, you experience the different phases and trends the brand has gone through, from ‘The New Look’ to their latest collections by Maria Grazia Chiuri.
Surprisingly, something that really came across was the designer’s fascination with Britain, a self-proclaimed anglophile who found endless pools of inspiration across the channel from France. Also, he loved British women – the way they wore their tweeds as well as their ballgowns was a constant source of amusement.
Amongst the many glorious gowns were ones specifically created for royalty; the Queen, Princess Margaret, Lady Diana and Princess Olga of Greece – he was very proud of the ‘secret shows’ he staged for the royal family.
Whilst the gowns are spectacular (all I want is an excuse to wear one of them!), some of the most striking objects on display are not clothes. The portrait of Dior from the 1920s is particularly interesting, portrayed as a young, colourful figure, not the grey suited one that comes to mind.
So be inspired to recover your long-forgotten sewing machine, or at the very least reimagine your style as the sheer scale and intricacy of the exhibition stays with you long after. The exhibition is open until July, so there is plenty of time, but do book in advance due to popularity! This is one of the best exhibitions I have ever been to, giving a detailed insight into the evolution of the brand that has helped shape fashion.