With its elegant and effortlessly stylish pieces of wearable art, Dior has always held a huge fascination for me and I’m enormously excited, humbled and privileged to announce that two pieces from my personal collection have been chosen by the V&A for its iconic Dior Designer of Dreams Exhibition…
A hugely important event for the House of Dior, the build-up in the days before the grand opening was simply electrifying. The V&A has a strong and well-deserved reputation for staging fashion spectaculars and this hotly anticipated exhibition, with its awe-inspiring collection of timeless Dior treasures, had fashionistas’ hearts racing and ticket sales soaring well before it opened to the public on Saturday 1 February.
I was lucky enough to be invited to a private viewing of the collection on 30 January where I got to meet Dior’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri and have a sneak peek at some of the priceless artefacts on show, including my 1950s Christian Dior by Mitchel Maer Bal de Oiseaux necklace and earrings.
Personal favourites of mine, the stunningly intricate necklace and earrings now take pride of place in a glass cabinet alongside other historically important items in the Dior in Britain section of the exhibition. One of eleven sections, Dior in Britain charts the story of celebrated couturier, Monsieur Dior’s fascination with British culture.
Taking centre stage is the beautiful and heavily embroidered, off-the-shoulder Christian Dior dress that Princess Margaret wore for her 21st birthday in 1951. Lovingly restored for this exhibition, the exquisite dress is brought to life by Cecil Beaton’s unforgettable photograph of the Princess, which sits alongside it.
According to AnOther Magazine: “The 21st birthday dress is the lynchpin of ‘Dior in Britain’, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve reimagined by the V&A’s Oriole Cullen for its London leg. What’s explored is a facet of the grand French maison closer to home. The global Dior of today can be traced back to establishing a second premises, Christian Dior London, in 1952, and its collaborations with British manufacturers, including Dents for gloves; Rayne (shoes); Lyle & Scott (knitwear) and Mitchel Maer (costume jewellery). It’s the work of Mr Dior’s all-seeing panorama that ensures the house still shines today.”
It’s almost impossible to describe the deep sense of history and strong emotion evoked by this particular room. For me, it was simply heart-stopping. Walking in the room for the first time, I was spell-bound, exhilarated and more than a touch overwhelmed to think that pieces from my personal collection were part of this truly magical exhibition. Probably the greatest couturier to have ever graced this planet, I truly believe that Christian Dior’s soul lives on in the first few rooms of this exhibition. And the fact that my Bal de Oiseaux necklace and earrings are pieces that were created in his lifetime, make them all the more special to me.
Meeting Maria Grazia Chiuri was an absolute honour; another ‘pinch me’ moment that I know I will continue to replay for many years to come.
I would like to thank the V&A and the utterly exceptional curator of this inspired exhibition, Oriole Cullen, and her incredible team for making my dream come true. A lifelong fan and follower of Dior jewellery, this magnificent and very moving experience is one that I will remember and treasure for a lifetime.
Although the exhibition is largely sold out, do try and visit it if you get the opportunity. Described by The Telegraph as “5 star; the greatest fashion show the V&A has ever staged,” if you are in any doubt whether Dior is for you, then a visit to this breath-taking collection, will soon determine it.
The exhibition ends on 1 September 2019 and I will certainly be popping down to London again for another glimpse. For more information and tickets visit www.vam.ac.uk
Love Jennifer x