On seeing the somewhat gloomily-lit vitrines housing the 20 or so Christian Dior dresses that make up part of the How to Dior exhibition, you can’t help but think to yourself, “is that really it?”
To get there you have to wade through rooms of Rococo cabinets, Meissen ceramics and all the other astounding objects that make up the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts). Despite the relative paucity of exhibits, you can still see how the luxury fashion brand has continually evolved to maintain its position at the top of the fashion hierarchy for the past 70 years.
The show begins with Christian Dior’s first post-war designs, right on through to John Galliano’s blue denim suit from 2001. In between you can see girly evening gowns with large bows and the elaborate designs of the late Italian designer Gianfranco Ferré. As the museum regretfully points out, there are no dresses in the collection from Maria Grazia Chiuri, its current artistic director and the first woman to lead the French fashion house.
You feel having started on this collection, they really need to keep it going. Downstairs a group of young fashion students have produced their own idiosyncratic interpretations of the Dior style – some good, some really rather not.
- How to Dior Through June 26 Kunstgewerbemuseum, Mitte