Home to the world’s largest display of decorative arts, the V&A’s collection spans 5,000 years of creative history and digs deep into both ancient and contemporary global cultures. The Egerton House Hotel is moments from the museum, which this year promises a spectacular variety of world-class exhibitions that are guaranteed to inspire all tastes. From a show exploring our love affair with the automobile to dazzling tributes to fashion’s leading heavyweights, here’s what to look forward to at the V&A in 2019.
Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams
He had a fondness for English traditions, buildings, politeness – even cuisine. One of the V&A’s 2019 headliners, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, explores the celebrated French designer’s amiable relationship with Britain, as well as his lasting imprint on the international fashionscape from 1947 to the present day. View 200 rare haute couture masterpieces, from an Écarlate afternoon dress that was a showpiece in Dior’s 1955 autumn/winter collection to vintage perfume bottles, hand-drawn sketches, fashion photography, cosmetics and exquisite accessories.
2nd February – 14th July 2019
Mary Quant’s sunshine yellow ankle boots, emerald green minidresses, playful bold prints and trend-setting pinafores staged a subversive fashion revolution on the British high street between 1955 and 1975, and this evocative exhibition brings together a vibrant selection of her finest works. Following a nationwide callout to uncover lost Mary Quant items, 35 personal donations from members of the public are also showcased.
6th April 2019 – 16th February 2020
Food: Bigger than the plate
The food industry is often at the forefront of public debate. Are we importing too much? Is our produce ‘correctly’ labelled? Do we really know what we are eating? Food: Bigger than the plate introduces the forward-thinking communities and organisations that are radically re-inventing the gastronomic sphere. Take a journey from farm to kitchen table via urban farming initiatives and laboratories producing synthetic meat. Each section of the V&A’s bold new exhibition features surprising sensory and playful experiences.
18th May – 17th November 2019
This show is a surreal and visually compelling window into the capricious worlds created by boundary-pushing photographer, Tim Walker. Dip behind the scenes of his dramatic images to observe photographic sets, films and special installations, all put together by leading British art director Shona Heath. The exhibition encourages consideration for the stylists, costume designers, models and set creators who help bring life, colour and expression to Walker’s ideas.
21st September 2019 – 8th March 2020
During its 130-year long history, the car has revolutionised manufacturing, altered our capacity for travel and movement, changed the layout of our cities and impacted our environments and economies. Explore how and why the modern world looks the way it does today – because of cars. This thought-provoking exhibition pulls up at the V&A in the second half of 2019.
19th October 2019 – 19th April 2020
Stay at Red Carnation Hotels’ The Egerton House Hotel for easy access to all of the best exhibitions at the V&A in 2019.
Image credits: Cover image Écarlate afternoon dress, Autumn-Winter 1955 Haute Couture collection © Laziz Hamani. Yves Saint Laurent in front of Christian Dior London, 11th November 1958 © Popperfoto_Getty Images. The Mary Quant Beauty bus, 1971 © INTERFOTO Alamy Stock Photo. Loci Food Lab © The Center for Genomic Gastronomy. Sethu Ncise, Jermaine Downer, Will Sutton, Zuzanna Bartoszek and Sara Grace Wallerstedt. Fashion - Moncler 1 by Pierpaolo Piccioli. London, 2018 © Tim Walker.