I am currently sat in the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington, trying to process and wrap my head around one of the most incredible and inspirational exhibitions I’ve ever seen. Christian Dior: The Designer of Dreams. The name well fits the designer and perfectly captures the essence of this exhibition.
THE DESIGNER OF DREAMS
Never have I felt in my life that I need overly expensive things. I’ve always appreciated them, but never really understood the need to consistently buy luxury goods when there is an affordable option more within budget. Granted, I am young. Early on in life, whilst some may get spend-y on clothing and material items, I more preferred putting my money towards coffees and good food. Also, money can tend to run a little tight early on in your career – depending on where you find yourself working. Luxury isn’t always within your budget unless you’ve spent years saving up for a piece that you’ve been dreaming of.
Having said this, going through this exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum made me realize why luxury goods have such a pull to them. Also, I finally understood why some people prefer to save and only purchase luxury goods. Why they love to purchase from designers like Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Gianfranco Ferré and Maria Grazia Chiuri.
TO THE (NEEDLE) POINT
Up until this point, I’d always had a great appreciation for luxury fashion and the designers behind their creation. However, I’ll admit that this appreciation was primarily for the Haute Couture shows of Couture Fashion Week in Paris every year. I loved streaming every show I had time for, filling up my ‘Watch Later’ playlist on YouTube many times over. But still, these shows felt slightly out of reach.
This shift in appreciation, I think, majorly revolved around my proximity to the beautifully designed pieces in this exhibition. Each took center stage in their own way. There were pieces that I recognized from my favourite advertisements that have previously run for the brand. Red carpet looks that I’d lusted over many times.
Seeing these pieces up close rather than from a distance changes how you look at them. It’s different from streaming the runway shows on YouTube or flipping through the runway images in the pages of Vogue. You begin to appreciate every single detail and every amount of work that goes into each piece. It’s incredible, really. Something that previously seemed so out of reach is suddenly two feet in front of you. Absolutely unbelievable.
WHY DOES CHRISTIAN DIOR HOLD OUR HEARTS IN HIS HANDS?
Exhibitions like this prompted me to ask, what is it about designers like Christian Dior that leave people falling at his feet (and hemlines)? I can almost answer myself here. Thinking back, previously to having still some sort of detachment from designer clothing versus now, my appreciation has grown. Not one of the designs of the house of Christian Dior have ever been touched by a machine. Everything is done by hand. This means, every sequin, every crystal, every stitch was all done by an artisan working in his atelier. The design must first be created in cotton or muslin, almost as a trial run. After this ‘mock-up’ is approved, it can then go through the production process and be shown. The process is so meticulous, it’s almost impossible not to be fascinated by it.
The Christian Dior exhibition was one that I can understand the excitement over. The timeline for which it was in London had been extended due to popularity, and even then, still sold out again. Personally, I purchased a membership to the museum just to be able to see it. My opinion? Totally worth it. Christian Dior is well fit to the title of Designer of Dreams. Even though his time as creative director of his own house was short due to an unexpected death, his is a name that will live on forever.
A HOUSE OF ENDLESS INSPIRATION
The Dior house is one to inspire many, both past and in the future for years to come. Looking back through the ranks of the creative directors chosen after Christian Dior himself, each have brought something unique that carries the name on and modernizes the design house in the most beautiful way.
It’s hard to think of a time in which designer fashion won’t be appreciated. Whilst maybe in may not be in your budget to purchase a piece at that price point – being able to cherish and appreciate everything that goes into making this wearable art is something that is truly special. My hat goes off to those behind the curation of the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibit. It’s certainly one that will remain in my dreams for years to come.
Until next, xoxo.
MY ULTIMATE DIOR WISHLIST
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