In February, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London kicked off their exhibition ‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams.’ They knew going in that the exhibition would be a popular one but they did not suspect just how popular. The exhibition wrapped up last week on September 1st and two days later, the museum announced that over its seven-month stint, it saw an exceptional 594,994 visitors. With that total, ‘Designer of Dreams’ overtook a 2015 exhibition, interestingly enough another show focused on fashion ‘Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,’ by more than 100,000 visitors to become the museum’s most-visited exhibition ever.
‘In 1974 Christian Dior changed the face of fashion creating a lasting legacy that continues to inspire today. The V&A has a history of staging revelatory fashion exhibitions,’ said Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A, in a press release. ‘I would like to thank all our visitors who have gone to such great lengths to experience this extraordinary show.’
The exhibition was touted as the ‘most comprehensive’ exhibition of works by the House of Dior in the UK. The exhibition was based off another by the name of ‘Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve’ put on at Paris’ Arts Décoratifs. However, for the London edition curated by Oriole Cullen and designed by Nathalie Crinière, more than 60 percent of the objects were original to the show. They explored not only the history of the fashion house but Dior’s fascination with British culture. Moreover, ‘Designer of Dreams’ showcased the high-profile partnerships between Dior and others like Stephen Jones, Roger Vivier, Serge Lutens, and Swarovski (who was also one of the show’s supporters).
‘Designer of Dreams’ featured over 500 items and 200 Haute Couture garments taking visitors through the more than four decades of trend-setting fashion curated by the designer. In addition to items of clothing, the exhibition showed accessories, perfumes, films, fashion photography, illustrations, original make up, magazines, and even personal items that belonged Dior, himself.
In the end the popularity of the exhibition proved too much for its original end date and it was extended by seven weeks. When tickets initially went on sale for the show, they were completely sold out in just three weeks, thus prompting the extension. The exhibition went on to receive critical acclaim from various parties and played a role in inspiring Maria Grazia Chiuri’s designs for the Dior AW19 Ready-to-Wear Collection.
‘We knew that “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams” would be popular,’ continued Hunt, ‘but we have been overwhelmed by the phenomenal visitor response since it opened in February,