For anyone who missed my Instagram post yesterday, I shared the most happy news- Hisdoryan and I will be attending the Dior: Designer of Dreams at the Victoria and Albert Museum in February when I am in London!! Bring on the style history, folks. Being that I decided to spend 2018 educating myself on all things style and fashion (and am continuing that in 2019), I could not be more thrilled that this has worked out! Hisdoryan is one of my favourite bloggers (we are blogging soul mates), so this is certainly going to be one of the highlights of my trip. So, what is it we will be seeing in the Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition, you ask?
Dior: Designer of Dreams at the Victoria and Albert Museum
For anyone who doesn’t regularly stalk museum and style Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and Instagram accounts, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London announced in the summer of 2018 that the largest collection of the House of Dior would open in February 2019. According to the V&A Facebook, the exhibition “Span[s] 1947 to the present day, discover the House of Dior’s vision of fashion through an outstanding collection of objects including accessories, illustrations, film, photography and original design sketches.” The reason why I am so excited is that out of all the haute couture and “old school” designers, Dior is the one that speaks to my soul. The Dior “New Look” suits me well, and I think truly stands the test of time. I also believe that Dior (the designer and the house) have played a huge role in style history, and is more than worthy of our study. So, when I found out that the designer would be showcased at a museum that I very badly want to visit, I knew that it was fate intervening. Thankfully, Hisdoryan was the best and got our tickets for us, so it is all happening!
Style History: Background Reading and Watching
So, like any good historian, I plan on doing my due diligence and doing my research beforehand. Yes, I know that I love the New Look, with it’s small waist and full skirt but I don’t know much more about how it came to be, or really anything of Dior himself or really the House. I plan on watching Dior and I, a documentary on Raf Simons role as Creative Director at Dior from 2012 to 2015. It focuses specifically on his first couture collection for the house. Although he is at Calvin Klein now, he certainly transitioned Dior away from the John Galliano era. I will also be borrowing Dior by Dior from the library, as it is published by the V&A itself! (I do plan on purchasing it, but of course from the museum when I visit- that always makes books more special.) I have a soft spot for autobiographies, as I find it fascinating to read what people want to highlight about themselves. I may also try to pick up a few more biographies if I have time!
Russia, Royalty, and the Romanovs at the Queen’s Gallery
We will also be going to the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace to see the Russia, Royalty, and the Romanovs exhibition– Russian tiara and jewellery time, here I come! In fairness, this exhibition is not solely about style history but also political and cultural, but I am quite excited to see it. I have read quite a bit about the Romanovs but it can be difficult to picture how opulent but secluded their world really was in reality. I’ve not seen as many of the portraits of the earlier Romanovs, so I am pretty excited to finally see more! (In person, no less!) I am currently reading George, Nicholas, and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I, and the interactions between Nicholas and the British Royal Family are particularly interesting to me. Hopefully this exhibition will give me more insight into their relationship and how the Romanovs were seen by their contemporaries. And the jewels. I don’t know if I mentioned it already but I am always here for more jewels in person…
I will be sharing more of trip plans in the coming weeks, but this was too exciting not to share! I feel that style history is often overlooked as being frivolous and extraneous. However, style and fashion can give us incredible insights into social, political, and cultural movements.