I’m absolutely thrilled to be taking part in the V&A’s sell out Dior: Top to Toe Course this weekend.
I attended the first course earlier this year and was completely captivated and more than a little overwhelmed to be given such an incredible and rare insight into the House of Dior. As well as mesmerising presentations from V&A curator, Oriole Cullen and House of Dior head archivist, Soizic Pfaff, who quite possibly has the best job in the world, I was delighted to meet model, Svetlana Lloyd. Having worked as a model for the House of Dior for two years, Svetlana was one of just seven mannequins that flew out to Australia with Christian Dior’s final collections in 1957.
Led by Dr Clare Rose, senior lecturer in contextual studies at the Royal School of Needlework, an expert on the history of fashion and a frequent lecturer at the V&A, this second sell out course features a wonderful line-up of speakers and promises to be just as fascinating as the first.
With each specialist bringing their own, unique Dior story to the room, there are presentations from Fiona Campbell, Fiona Anderson and the V&A’s own Connie Karol Burks and Susanna Brown, and demonstrations from RSN graduates Elliott Reynolds and Lizzie Lowe.
And then there’s me…
I feel very honoured to stand alongside these remarkable people and share my personal Dior story. As well as talking about the exquisite and magnificent jewels that have dazzled throughout the Dior decades and the incredibly talented designers that have created them, I will be giving a jewellery focus session, which will incorporate some unusual and jaw-droppingly beautiful pieces from both my personal and business collections.
An extremely rare and highly collective piece, my co-signed Christian Dior Mitchel Maer vintage music box pin, is one of the items that I will be sharing with the group. Made in 1950s England by the London-based designer, this exquisite piece, is adorned with flowers, cherubs and pearls and features a music box, which is still in perfect working order. The same type of pin is displayed alongside other pieces from my collection in the exhibition and it is a fantastic opportunity for Dior fans to see how it works.
I’m also going to show a gorgeous 1957 heart and garland Dior collar by Francis Winter for Christian Dior, which I know will be a huge draw for those on the course. A personal favourite of mine, it is also a perfect match for the Libre Line dress that Connie Karol Burks will be presenting during her focus session.
I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone, learning more about the House of Dior and getting the opportunity to celebrate the life of the inimitable and insanely talented Christian Dior.
I’m also more than a little excited to have another excuse to go and see the fabulous Dior Designer of Dreams Exhibition again. I’m not ashamed to admit that this will be my sixth visit to the V&A to view this timeless collection and it still makes my heart skip a beat. It’s such a thrill to see my Christian Dior by Mitchel Maer Bal de Oiseaux necklace and earrings alongside some of the most iconic pieces ever created. On each visit I manage to discover something new; maybe by the time it closes on 1 September I will have seen and thoroughly absorbed everything that is on show. Somehow, I doubt it.
A big thank to the V&A and in particular, its wonderful event team, for allowing me to play a small part in this magnificent programme. I have been extraordinarily privileged to get to know the team over the last few months and I would like to thank them for their warmth, kindness and generosity and for making my dreams become a reality.
Love Jennifer x