A stunning Dior couture gown worn by Princess Margaret on her 21st birthday is set to go on display as part of a major V&A exhibition on the French fashion house.
The Queen’s younger sister wore the dress in a famous portrait by Cecil Beaton, which was taken to mark her birthday in 1951.
The one-shouldered cream gown features a dramatic tulle skirt and eye-catching gold embellishment running down it.
The dress will be a highlight of V&A’s new exhibition, which will take a look back at the House of Dior from 1947 to the present day.
A stunning couture gown worn by Princess Margaret on her 21st birthday (above) is set to go on display as part of a major V&A exhibition
The one-shouldered cream gown features a dramatic tulle skirt and gold embellishment running down it
Margaret was a big fan of Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’ creations, often wearing his designs at major events.
The new exhibition at the V&A, which will open in February 2019, will look at the impact the couturier has had over the years, along with the six artistic directors who have succeeded him.
The retrospective will look particularly at the designer’s fascination with British culture, including the spectacular fashion shows he staged at stately homes including Blenheim Palace.
Along with Princess Margaret, his other famous British clients included the likes of Nancy Mitford and ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn.
Princess Margaret is pictured with Christian Dior following one of his spectacular shows at Blenheim Palace in 1954
The Queen’s younger sister (pictured on her 21st birthday) was known to be a big fan of Christian Dior
The exhibition will showcase over 500 objects, including over 200 rare Haute Couture garments shown alongside accessories, photographs, film, perfume, make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions.
Commenting on the exhibition, Tim Reeve, deputy director and chief operating officer of the V&A, said: ‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams celebrates one of the most ingenious and iconic designers in fashion history.
‘Reimagining this hugely popular exhibition from Paris – as the largest fashion exhibition the V&A has undertaken since Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty – will shed new light on Dior’s fascination with Britain.
The new exhibition at the V&A will take a look back at the House of Dior from 1947 to the present day. Pictured is a Perou short evening dress from the Autumn-Winter 1954 Haute Couture collection
The exhibition will showcase over 200 rare Haute Couture garments. Pictured left is an afternoon dress from the Autumn-Winter 1955 Haute Couture collection. Pictured right is an evening dress from the Autumn-Winter 1954 Haute Couture collection
‘The V&A holds one of the largest and most important fashion collections in the world, and we are delighted to be able to reveal highlights from our outstanding collection alongside those from the remarkable archive of the House of Dior, for this spectacular exhibition.’
Oriole Cullen, fashion and textiles curator at the V&A, added: ‘In 1947, Christian Dior changed the face of fashion with his “New Look”, which redefined the female silhouette and reinvigorated the post-War Parisian fashion industry.
‘The V&A recognised Dior’s important contribution to design history early-on in his career, acquiring his sketches and garments from the 1950s onwards. The influence of Christian Dior’s design was all-pervasive and helped to define an era.
‘More than seventy years after its founding, the V&A’s exhibition will celebrate the enduring influence of the House of Dior and uncover Dior’s relationship with Britain.’
Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams will run at the V&A from February 2 – July 14 2019
Couture garments will also be shown alongside photographs and illustrations. Pictured is Christian Dior with model Sylvie, circa 1948
The retrospective will look particularly at the designer’s fascination with British culture. Pictured is Christian Dior with model Lucky, circa 1955
Sketches will also feature in the exhibition. Pictured left is a sketch for the Spring-Summer 1947 collection, and right, a sketch for the Autumn-Winter 1950 collection
The exhibition will also look at the impact of the designers who succeeded Christian Dior. Pictured is Yves Saint Laurent, who became head designer of the House of Dior in 1957