Although we didn’t visit the So Dior exhibition at Harrods personally, we were lucky enough to have a photographer swing by and snap some pics for us. Sad to have missed this one as the gowns in particular are exquisite.
So Dior ran from 16th March to 14th April inside definitive department store Harrods. It was billed as a retrospective of Christian Dior’s contribution to fashion and perfumery constructed on three floors with a pop-up shop and cafe. A Dior takeover might be more accurate.
Elegant Princess Margaret personified everything Christian Dior loved about England. Harrods was reputedly his favourite store.
Dior initially trained as an architect before pursuing a career in cutting, working alongside Robert Piquet and Lucien Lelong. An assuming man, he only had ten years to make an impact on the fashion world before dying of a heart attack aged 52. But what an impact. His 1947 collection ‘Ligne Corolle’ (Corolle Line) was a return to exaggerated femininity after years of wartime shapelessness. He wanted women to look like flowers, sporting tiny waists and beautiful blossoming skirts. This ‘New Look’, as it was dubbed by Harper’s Bazaar editor Carmel Snow, became controversial with the popularity of the 1960s no-body silhouette and has remained so ever since. However in Dior’s heyday, fifties post-war Europe, such objectification was accepted; gleefully it would seem, by both sexes.
Royalty, movie stars, socialites, all have worn Dior’s clothes and never failed to make an impression. Harrods assembled several of these outfits inducing those seen on Elizabeth Taylor and Julianne Moore for the display, along with architectural models, accessories, mock-ups and even the store’s 1953 ‘Fashion Theatre’ featuring 40 Dior looks recreated in miniature. Enjoy photographs of the exhibition below. All images credited to Jennifer Lunn.
Toiles by Christian Dior, Raf Simons and John Galliano. Toiles are essentially test versions before a garment is made in its actual fabric.
Charlize Theron’s gold dresses worn in the 2011 Dior J’Adore perfume advertisements.
Margot Fonteyn’s Dior suit and Elizabeth Taylor’s dress worn for the 1961 Academy Awards (she won for Butterfield 8).
Audrey Hepburn dress from 1961 worn for a photo-shoot in Harper’s Bazaar.
Raf Simons for Dior ‘Garden of Versailles’ Autumn/Winter 2012 dress worn by Natalie Portman.
1947 Dior afternoon suit.
Closer look at Margot Fonteyn’s grey tweed suit.
Red velvet slippers worn by then Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson.
Rear of Julianne Moore’s striking yellow dress worn for the 2012 Emmy Awards.
Lady Dior handbag constructed from copper thread, recreated by sculptor Alice Anderson.
Midnight blue Dior dress worn by Princess Diana in 1996.
Harrods miniature Fashion Feature recreated from 1953 to present day.
Gold plated Lady Dior handbag.
With thanks to Jennifer Lunn.
© 2013 – 2014, Lord Christopher Laverty.