Christian Dior: Part 1
It's taken me far too long to be able to sit down and write this post. Not because I've been putting it off- that's probably needless to say- but because I feel whatever words I come up with, I can't do the dresses justice. It feels as if the dresses speak for themselves, whilst the viewer is speechless. It's as if that's the way round it's meant to be.
I headed down to London with a couple of friends to the Dior exhibition that opened in March; 18 days have passed since then, but everytime I see the photos something in me is still reawakened.
I met a young woman who had travelled from New York to get there, she was a fashion overseer, and was going to take inspiration back to America to share with her brand. It made me feel fortunate to have got there so easily, but then again I wouldn't have said no to booking a hotel and planning a trip especially around the occasion...
There were 9 rooms which we were left to wander, and in each was a very different mood and theme, which the interior design of the room resonated with. I was going to go through the rooms chronologically, but let me abandon that- order is probably overrated anyway.
I loved how the interior design changed. It was palace-like in some rooms, a fairytale garden in others, and modern and sleek in still more. Neither were the rooms square, but curvy and unpredictable. They took us from a modest collection of newspaper and magazine scrappings, to an extraudinary climax- but that I'm saving to write about that last.
I began with this room because it was one of my favourites. The pillars, panneling, and enormous mirror made me feel like I'd stepped into a ballroom- something I could never complain about.
Beside me, my friend began sketching the dresses. They turned out very well, and I should really pin them up in my study...I love having things that inspire me there, so I can escape to another mindset just by looking up from my work every now and then.
If you haven't already guessed, this room was based on historicism. Some of the designs certainly felt like they should be handed over to actors; and I didn't see myself wearing them unless I either really did have a palace to wander, or else held one of those reproduction days that people who love a certain era seem to .
However there was one dress that stood out, and not just because of its modern creation date. The stunning piece below, from 2017.
Around me everyone's attention has been drawn to this one dress, and in all the room it seemed to enchant more eyes than any other.
I love the delicacy, I love the sense of lightness, and translucency and spring...
On a different note, there was something that was bothering me as I went round. It struck me at the point of this room, in particular this dress- and that is the unattainability of the dresses. There was a gap between me and them. In fact, the more I wanted to put myself in them, the more I began to be aware of why I couldn't, and there was a small sense of being teased. I was in a room filled with dresses I'd be overjoyed to have my wardrobe filled with, and yet the world says no. I don't need to point out that Dior is exclusive, for the highest of high society, and the whole 'they're close enough to touch and yet I can't wear them' was persistently biting at me.
At this point it was only something at the back of my mind, but it was a thought that gradually worked itself out of my subconscious the more garments I saw. But I'll put that aside for now, because I'm not even sure how well my mind is working at this time of night- and after all, the dresses do speak for themselves.