Exhibition Opening on Saturday, 2 February 2019

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

"There is no other country in the world, besides my own, whose way of life I like so much. I love English traditions, English politeness, English architecture. I even love English cooking." Christian Dior

  • Opening on Saturday, 2 February 2019

  • The Sainsbury Gallery

  • £20 – £24

    Variable ticket pricing applies

Spanning 1947 to the present day, this exhibition will trace the history and impact of one of the 20th century’s most influential couturiers, exploring the enduring influence of the fashion house, and Dior’s relationship with Britain.

Supported by

Swarovski is delighted to partner with the V&A in the landmark staging of Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams. Swarovski and Dior have a long history of collaboration. We are proud to help celebrate one of the world’s greatest design talents, his life and legacy, and the creative directors who have followed him at the house of Dior. Founded in the Austrian Alps more than 120 years ago by Daniel Swarovski, our company has a history that is closely intertwined with that of Parisian fashion and the early couturiers. As the leading provider of crystals to haute couture designers, Swarovski was Christian Dior’s choice to embellish his creations. In 1956, Manfred Swarovski worked with Monsieur Dior to create a unique crystal with a rainbow effect called Aurora Borealis. Since then the partnership has grown ever stronger, with successive creative directors at Dior using Swarovski crystals to realise their visions. We look forward to many more glittering collaborations in the future.

Exhibition Highlights

Sketch by Christian Dior for model Oxford, Spring-Summer 1947 Haute Couture collection. © Christian Dior.

Christian Dior with model Lucky, circa 1955. Courtesy of Christian Dior.

Christian Dior with model Sylvie, circa 1948. Courtesy of Christian Dior.

Sketch by Christian Dior for model Londres, Autumn-Winter 1950 Haute Couture collection. © Christian Dior.

Diorling perfume, 1963. Photo © Laziz Hamani

Écarlate afternoon dress, Autumn-Winter 1955 Haute Couture collection, Y line. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Photo © Laziz Hamani

Guépard afternoon dress, Autumn-Winter 1959 Haute Couture collection, 1960 line. Christian Dior by Yves Saint Laurent. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Gift of Mrs. Haynes and Mrs. Clark. Photo © Laziz Hamani

Pérou short evening dress, Autumn-Winter 1954 Haute Couture collection, H line. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Gift of Cecil Beaton. Photo © Laziz Hamani

Princess Margaret (left), with the Duchess of Marlborough behind, presents Christian Dior with a scroll entitling him to Honorary Life Membership of the British Red Cross © Popperphoto, Getty Images

Soirée de décembre evening dress, Autumn-Winter 1954 Haute Couture collection, H line. Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Gift of Dame Margot Fonteyn. Photo © Laziz Hamani

Yves Saint Laurent in front of Christian Dior London, 11th November 1958. © Popperfoto, Getty Images

Christian Dior (1905–57), Bar Suit, Christian Dior Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 1947, Corolle Line. Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Miss Dior limited edition, Baccarat blue crystal, 1947. Antoine Kralik for Christian Dior Parfums

Christian Dior (1905-57), Fête joyeuse, Evening Dress, Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 1955, A Line. Victoria and Albert Museum

Christian Dior by John Galliano (b.1960), Haute Couture, Autumn/Winter 2004. Dior Héritage collection, Paris

Christian Dior by Raf Simons (b.1968), Coat, Haute Couture, Autumn/Winter 2012. Dior Héritage collection, Paris

Christian Dior by John Galliano (b.1960), J’adore, Dress, Haute Couture, 2008 (custom-made). Christian Dior Parfums collection, Paris

Christian Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri (b. 1964), Éventail de vos hasards, Dress, Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 2018. Dior Héritage collection, Paris

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