Svetlana Lloyd: The Face of Dior


If you’ve paid a visit to Glenbow in the months since the Christian Dior exhibition opened, you’re likely quite familiar with Svetlana Lloyd, whose visage greets visitors coming in from both the 8th and 9th Avenue entrances to the museum. This image of Lloyd, famously taken by photographer William Klein in 1957, has also appeared on Glenbow postcards, in advertisements throughout the city and online, and even in our exhibition video. (The dress she’s wearing in the photograph, Promesse, can be seen in the exhibition, as well.)

©1957 William Klein

Now in her 80s, Lloyd is as marvelous as ever and, as luck would have it, actively participated in the promotion of another Dior exhibition hosted by the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia two years ago. We’ve rounded up a few of her interviews, which offer great insight into the golden age of the House of Dior and what life was like for the women who were Dior’s “mannequins.”

Don’t forget, the last day to see Christian Dior at Glenbow is Sunday June 2!

In this wonderful video from NGV Melbourne, Lloyd discusses her roots as the child of Russian emigres, landing a job with Dior and the professional hazards of too much sun. – Watch


In this Lateline post which features a video interview with Lloyd, she recounts how Dior’s “mannequins” were allowed to keep one dress in their second year of service for the House. Lloyd chose Promesse, the dress from the famous William Klein photograph. As an added bonus, she spills the royal tea on the then Duchess of Windsor (” I wouldn’t like to say naughty words but the Duchess of Windsor was really very rude and a very unpleasant person.”) – Read/watch


Here, Lloyd talks to Vogue about modelling in 1958 for Dior’s successor, 21-year-old wunderkind Yves St. Laurent. The dress that she wore is now part of the collection of the Met! – Read

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