So Dior Exhibition at Harrods: Movie Star Dresses

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.

Dior at Harrods_Princess Margaret suit and dress_Image credit Jennifer Lunn

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.

Dior at Harrods_Dior Toile full_Image credit 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.

Dior at Harrods_2011 Charlize Theron Jadore dress 1 and 2_Image credit Jennifer Lunn

Charlize Theron’s gold dresses worn in the 2011 Dior J’Adore perfume advertisements.

Dior at Harrods_Margot Fonteyn grey suit and Elizabeth Taylor dress, 1961 Oscars Butterfield 8_Image credit Jennifer Lunn-001

Margot Fonteyn’s Dior suit and Elizabeth Taylor’s dress worn for the 1961 Academy Awards (she won for Butterfield 8).

Dior at Harrods_Audrey Hepburn Dior dress 1959, Harpers Bazaar_Image credit Jennifer Lunn-001

Audrey Hepburn dress from 1961 worn for a photo-shoot in Harper’s Bazaar.

Dior at Harrods_Autumn Winter 2012 Raf Simons Garden of Versailles dress worn by Natalie Portman_Image credit Jennifer Lunn

Raf Simons for Dior ‘Garden of Versailles’ Autumn/Winter 2012 dress worn by Natalie Portman.

Dior at Harrods_Dior afternoon suit 1947_Image credit Jennifer Lunn

1947 Dior afternoon suit.

Dior at Harrods__Margot Fonteyn grey suit_Image credit Jennifer Lunn

Closer look at Margot Fonteyn’s grey tweed suit.

Dior at Harrods_Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson red velvet shoes_Image credit Jennifer Lunn

Red velvet slippers worn by then Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson.

Dior at Harrods_Julianne Moore yellow Dior dress, 2012 Emmys_Image credit Jennifer Lunn-001

Rear of Julianne Moore’s striking yellow dress worn for the 2012 Emmy Awards.

Dior at Harrods_Lady Dior handbag made with copper thread recreated bySculptor Alice Anderson_Image credit Jennifer Lunn

Lady Dior handbag constructed from copper thread, recreated by sculptor Alice Anderson.

Dior at Harrods_Dior Princess Diana dress 1996_Image credit Jennifer Lunn

Midnight blue Dior dress worn by Princess Diana in 1996.

Dior at Harrods_Minature version Harrods Fashion Theatre from 1953_Image credit Jennifer Lunn

Harrods miniature Fashion Feature recreated from 1953 to present day.

Dior at Harrods_Gold plated Dior handbag_Image credit Jennifer Lunn

Gold plated Lady Dior handbag.

With thanks to Jennifer Lunn.

© 2013 – 2014, Lord Christopher Laverty.