Photography / Fashion

A glimpse into the glamorous world of Christian Dior

Coinciding with the V&A's major Christian Dior blockbuster, Proud Central will showcase the fashion innovator’s legendary designs through the lens of four pioneering photographers. Documenting Dior's illustrious beginnings, the must-see exhibition displays the works of Mark Shaw, Norman Parkinson, Jerry Schatzberg and Bert Stern, from polished editorial shots capturing well-known figures for 'Life' magazine, to behind-the-scenes studio snapshots. Explore the rich heritage of the luxury brand and its reinvention of the female silhouette.

“A model is captured here by Mark Shaw in the Dior ‘Lola’ dress. It was designed by Yves Saint Laurent for the Christian Dior Autumn-Winter Haute Couture collection in 1958.”

“Mark Shaw captured this model in a fur hat and Christian Dior dress for Life magazine in 1954. One of Mark Shaw’s favourite images, it was also chosen to appear on the front cover of the photographer’s 2013 book, ‘Dior Glamour’.”

“This photograph was taken in the courtyard outside Marc Bohan’s apartment. In a casual pose and evoking a sense of throwaway luxe, the model wears a coral crepe lamé smock, coral crepe georgette camisole and cigarette straight trousers.”

“Elizabeth Taylor captured by Mark Shaw for Life magazine in April 1961, mere hours before she was awarded an Oscar for her lead role in ‘Butterfield 8’. Taylor wears the ‘Soiré à Rio’ dress from Dior’s Spring-Summer 1961 Haute Couture collection.”

“This previously unprinted photograph was taken by Norman Parkinson in 1963, during Marc Bohan’s period as creative director of Dior. Bohan’s Dior designs developed a “slim look” silhouette using bias cut skirts, dropped waists and natural shoulders. Model Jean Shrimpton appeared on several Vogue covers wearing designs by Dior during the 1960s. She was favoured by many fashion photographers of the era, including Norman Parkinson, for her modern and glamorous look.”

“This photograph, taken by Bert Stern for Vogue in June 1962 at Hotel Bel-Air, features Marilyn Monroe in a backless Christian Dior Haute Couture dress designed by Marc Bohan. Titled ‘The Complete Last Sitting’, this session is known for being Marilyn’s final sitting before her death of barbiturate overdose only six weeks later.”

“An outtake from Jerry Schatzberg’s shoot for the March 1960 issue of Vogue. The caption for this suit, named the ‘Petit Bedon’, reads “Dior- one of those marvellous little everything suits that this house turns out as effortlessly as charm.”

The Dior Collection at Proud Central, opens to the public on 7th February until 7th April 2019,

15 January 2019