Fancy being cultural this February? We suggest a visit to London’s new V&A exhibition, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, which opens this weekend. With over 200 dreamy couture dresses to feast your eyes on, the exhibit is a must-see for fashion nerds who want to brush up on their Dior knowledge (and grab some style inspo for the new season). To get you in the mood, here are five key looks from the house’s history and how you can work them into your day-to-day style now.
All about that waist
Ready for a quick history lesson? For his first collection in 1947, Christian Dior created what was basically a brand-new silhouette. The cinched waist and full skirt of his Bar suit was dubbed the ‘New Look’ due to its contrast with minimal post-war style. It’s an oh-so-extra vibe that has since been on repeat on the catwalks (and in our wardrobes) for the last 70 years – see the sidewalks of the recent Paris couture week for proof.
Sweet (hounds) tooth
All this Dior talk may ring a bell: the exhibition did run in Paris last year, but the London version will also explore Dior’s relationship with Britain. The designer adored British culture and often used heritage fabrics in his collections. He was particularly fond of houndstooth – in fact, he liked it so much that in 1950 he began decorating the packaging of his first fragrance, Miss Dior, with the pattern. These days, houndstooth tailoring is still a super-sophisticated choice and will turn your winter look up a notch in a flash.
Trap queen
You know the dependable, loose-fitting dresses that you reach for on those don’t-know-what-to-wear days? You can thank Dior for those. The man himself created the A-line design, which Yves Saint Laurent (who took over the house after Dior’s death) brought to the next level with the Trapeze dress. Take a tip from this street-styler and make a flared silhouette modern with chunky platform boots and a mini bag.
Logo loco
John Galliano gave the house an extravagant, exuberant vibe during his 1996 to 2011 tenure, and his J’Adore Dior slogan became an icon of the 00s. Fast forward to 2017 and the house’s new (and first female) Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri brought the logo back in all types of funky ways for her debut collection. A logo top adds a laid-back streetwear vibe to any ‘fit, as you can see from this T-shirt and skirt combo.
One of the dresses we’re most excited about seeing in the exhibit is the stunning tulle number that Princess Margaret casually wore to her 21st birthday. Dior often used tulle in his designs, and, in another ode to the fashion house’s history, Grazia Churi continues to celebrate the fabric (including in her most recent couture show). To give the feminine look an edge (and avoid any ballerina vibes), pair with strong tailoring and lace-up boots.


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