Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition to open in New York

The retrospective unpacks the elegant yet rule-breaking fashion of Dior himself

The Bar jacket at the Christian Dior: Designer Of Dreams exhibition, which will open in New York in the autumn. Photo by Adrien Dirand
The Bar jacket at the Christian Dior: Designer Of Dreams exhibition, which will open in New York in the autumn. Photo by Adrien Dirand

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, an exhibition that unwraps the expertise, skill and influence of the fabled French house, will travel to New York this autumn.

Having begun in Paris in 2019, the lavish show moved onto London and Shanghai, before the pandemic forced it to halt.

Now, it has been announced that the blockbuster show will open at the Brooklyn Museum on September 10 and run until February 20, 2022.

As part of the Christian Dior: Designer Of Dreams exhibition in New York, these miniature shoes and full-sized dresses will be on show.  Photo by Adrien Dirand 
As part of the Christian Dior: Designer Of Dreams exhibition in New York, these miniature shoes and full-sized dresses will be on show. Photo by Adrien Dirand

Not only is this a sign of confidence that the world is returning to something resembling normality, the exhibition, which unpacks the elegant yet rule-breaking work of Dior himself, also marks the first dedicated retrospective of the brand in New York since 1996, when the Metropolitan Museum ran the Christian Dior exhibition.

The show will offer visitors a chance to immerse themselves in Dior's world, from the earliest days of his revolutionary The New Look of 1947, until his death a decade later.

A collection of pale gowns that will appear in New York as part of the "Christian Dior: Designer Of Dreams" exhibition. Photo by Adrien Dirand 
A collection of pale gowns that will appear in New York as part of the Christian Dior: Designer Of Dreams exhibition. Photo by Adrien Dirand

Sets that recreate Paris streets, and walls covered in sketches, colour swatches, and miniature gowns help convey that daring use of cut and colour that helped Dior forge his name, and show why his clients were so loyal.

As for the venue, it also carries a nice sense of history. A strong link has existed between the house of Dior and the Brooklyn Museum since 1949, when the museum hosted a show entitled Two Centuries of French Fashion Elegance.

Featuring miniature copies of haute couture looks, a gift from couture’s governing body, Syndicat de la Couture de Paris, the dolls include the work of Dior’s founder and were a gift to the people of America.

A procession of day looks in the Christian Dior: Designer Of Dreams exhibition. The exhibtion will open in New York in the autumn. Photo by Adrien Dirand
A procession of day looks in the Christian Dior: Designer Of Dreams exhibition. The exhibtion will open in New York in the autumn. Photo by Adrien Dirand

“The mannequins showcased pieces by the best French couturiers, among them Christian Dior, of course. I think it’s wonderful to revive this tie and cultural legacy – it’s fundamental to celebrating the link between Dior and the United States, which was so important for transforming Monsieur Dior and his brand into an international force," said Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of women’s collections at Dior.

Dior himself believed that fashion and fantasy were entwined, once saying: ''Fashion comes from a dream, and the dream is an escape from reality."

With Designer of Dreams exhibition opening its doors once more, visitors can again glimpse the dreams that Dior so believed in.

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Updated: June 7, 2021 04:45 PM

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