Swarovski and Dior have been close creative collaborators since Christian Dior founded his maison in the 1940s and he chose Swarovski’s sparkling stones to embellish his designs. In 1956, Monsieur Dior and Manfred Swarovski, the grandson of Swarovski’s founder, made history with the creation of an extraordinary new crystal effect: Aurora Borealis.
This dramatic iridescent crystal became a signature embellishment of Dior’s New Look, not only bringing glamour and style to his garments, but also adding elegance by subtly embellishing the grace of movement and giving women an extra dimension of femininity.
The spectacular show includes more than 100 sumptuous creations that feature Swarovski crystals, from jewelry and handbags to beautiful gowns – many of which shimmer with the rainbow-like reflections of Aurora Borealis crystal. Several looks are displayed with magnificent crystallized masks originally created by esteemed milliner Stephen Jones for the 2017 Dior exhibition in Paris.
Over the past 70 years, Swarovski has continued to collaborate with all of Dior’s creative directors: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri, who was awarded the Swarovski Award for Positive Change at the Fashion Awards in 2017. This exhibition is a shining testament to the millions of Swarovski crystals that have embellished hundreds of breathtaking Dior creations, contributing to this sparkling chapter in fashion history.
Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London from February 2 to September 1, 2019
Image: © Laziz Hamani