Why ‘Dior, Couturier des Reves’ is this year’s must-see fashion exhibition – Telegraph.co.uk

By the late 1950s, following Dior’s premature death, the 21-year-old Yves Saint Laurent had taken over. He introduced patent leather biker jackets before being conscripted to the army.  Marc Bohan, his successor, steered Dior through two successful if creatively unspectacular decades. The lack of catwalk excitement didn’t matter: Grace of Monaco was a loyal fan and the clothes were perfect for her. There’s a section of Princess gowns too – the house dressed Princess Margaret and Diana inter alia.  

The suit died away. It was the 70’s. Ballgowns survived.  Late 80’s Dior saw a wave of bravura flounces and spectacular bows, courtesy of Gianfranco Ferre, who started out as an architect but had the impulses of a grand opera producer. The theatrical phantasmagoria of John Galliano followed; then four years after the crash, the streamlined architecture of Raf Simons (suits were back again). Last year, Dior appointed its first female creative Director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, who like Dior, believes that fantasy and functionalism, softness and tailoring can happily co-exist.

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