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A royal portrait of Princess Margaret on her 21st birthday in London, 1949

Princess Margaret’s 21st birthday dress and Christian Dior’s lavish history in London

Christian Dior once said of England: “There is no other country in the world, besides my own, whose way of life I like so much.

Style and Fashion in London

Christian Dior once said of England: “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… I even love English cooking.”

Fashion maven Christian Dior was undoubtedly an admirer of England in his time, having collaborated with numerous British manufacturers and created unforgettable haute couture pieces for British clients in his lifetime. From February 2, London plays host to the largest and most comprehensive Christian Dior exhibition the country has ever seen.

The Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri Eventail de vos hasards Dress
The Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri Eventail de vos hasards Dress

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreamswill be held at the legendary Victoria and Albert Museum in London from February 2 to July 14, 2019. The exhibition draws from the extensive Dior archives, presenting to the public a catalogue of hundreds of rare haute couture garments, films, perfumes and Christian Dior’s own personal possessions.

Through 11 finely curated sections, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams brings to life the exquisite skill and craftsmanship of the lineage of ateliers that have continued Dior’s vision over the decades. The brand-new Dior in Britain segment, specially curated for the occasion, celebrates Dior’s love and admiration for the United Kingdom: a highlight of the exhibition is the exquisite Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday in 1949.

Christian Dior’s spectacular fashion shows of yore will also be brought to life, including a show from 1954 that was held in one of the UK’s most luxurious and stately homes, the Blenheim Palace.

The famed Christian Dior Bar dress from 1947 will be one of the pieces on show
The famed Christian Dior Bar dress from 1947 will be one of the pieces on show

The Victoria and Albert museum, where the exhibition will be staged, is no stranger to the fine arts. With a permanent collection of over 2 million objects, the 160-year-old museum is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, and its gothic, gilded halls are the perfect setting to indulge in Christian Dior’s inimitable brand of haute couture.  ◼

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© This article was first published online in Feb 2019 – World Travel Magazine.

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