As you are certain to know by now, I'm a fan of museums and especially fashion exhibits. There is something special about taking a step back into time via fashion. It tells us so much about the culture of the time, from the multi-layered ensembles women used to wear to the first bikini that came onto the scene to the androgynous style we see now.
In February, London's Victoria & Albert Museum debuted it's Dior exhibit, "Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams". As luck would have it, I happened to be in London in February. So, you guessed it; I booked tickets to the exhibit as soon as I had my flight booked.
Dior by John Galliano (b.1960), Haute Couture, Autumn/Winter 2004. Photo © Laziz Hamani. Dior Héritage collection, Paris.
Honestly, I wasn't quite certain what to expect, as I had been to the Musée Christian Dior, which was Dior's childhood home in France. It was amazing. From the gardens to the view to the history held within the house, it was a special experience. In turn, I wondered how this exhibit in London could top that?
Well, the real beauty of V&A's exhibit was how they wove the stories of each of the House of Dior's designers into the exhibit. Without reading the description, I would catch myself eyeing specific designs. More often than not, they were those of John Galliano. Or, they were designs from Gianfranco Ferré or Marc Bohan. Of course there were nods to Yves Saint Laurent too. In addition, there were ties to London, including to Princess Margaret and the dress she wore for her 21st birthday, which was designed by Dior.
Christian Dior by John Galliano, J’adore, Dress, Haute Couture, 2008(custom-made). Photo © Laziz Hamani. Christian Dior Parfums collection, Paris.
With all of this said, I should note that due to how well-received this exhibit has been already, the V&A has extended it until September. As of this writing, it does appear sold out with some tickets available at the door. Even with this said, if you are in London, it's worth a try to see it. If anything, you can explore the V&A, which is a must-visit on its own.
P.S. All images were courtesy of V&A, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is at the V&A from 2 February – 14 July 2019 (now 1 September 2019) vam.ac.uk.
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This is the first thing I saw when perusing the 50th anniversary issue of the Smithsonian magazine for April 2020. This eye-opening 10-page article (with spectacular photos) is titled, “The Ship in the Ice” and concerns a topic we’ve all been hearing about for years, e.g., global warming.
The pandemic this year has affected all of us in many ways. Two things that stand out in my mind: people definitely need people (to paraphrase the song “People” sung by Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl). The phone, email, computer, TV and all the other digital creations we use DO NOT take the place of human interaction. We all need to see and talk to each other. That said we have also learned that we can work at home very efficiently and handle our normal workload if necessary. Never commute again? I don’t think that will happen, but perhaps we’ll find a happy medium – time will tell.
I have often found that when a person achieves incredible success – after a long struggle – the back-story is almost as fascinating as the achievement itself. That’s why I was interested in, yet another, Andy Warhol write-up that appeared in the May 2020 issue of the Smithsonian magazine.
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