Saturday, April 23, 2011

Discover the universe of Miss Dior Chérie

“My mother says that when I was little my grandfather used to take me and my cousins on one side after dinner and ask us what we wanted to be when he grew up, and I’d say ‘Christian Dior’,” recalled the French fashion designer Christian Lacroix.” He was so famous in France at the time. It seemed as if he wasn’t a man, but an institution.”

Christian Dior, son of a wealthy Norman manufacturer of chemicals and fertilizer, wanted to be an architect, but his family insisted he enter the diplomatic service. He prepared for a diplomatic career at the Ecole des Sciences Politiques but abandoned diplomacy in 1928 and became an art dealer. Illness forced him to give up that business in 1934, and when he returned to Paris a year later, it was as a fashion illustrator - first of hats, later of dresses.

In 1946, when World War II cloth rationing was lifted, Dior opened his own salon. In the spring of 1947 the success of his first collection, called the "New Look," propelled him to the top of the French fashion industry. His idealized, ultrafeminine silhouette featured tiny waists; long, full skirts; padded busts; and rounded shoulders. Everything was made exquisitely of the best materials available. The New Look changed the shape of women's clothing and lifted the French fashion industry out of the doldrums. For this feat a grateful French government awarded him the Legion of Honor.

His successive collections (including the "H-Line" in 1954 and the "A-Line" in 1955) continued to be popular, and throughout the 1950s the fashion world looked to Paris and Dior for inspiration and style. He expanded his company into eight firms and sixteen associate firms in twenty-four countries, reportedly grossing some $20 million a year. His Dior label went on jewelry, scarves, men's ties, furs, stockings, gloves, and ready-to-wear clothing.

Although Christian Dior died in 1957, he is perhaps one of the most famous fashion designers of both the 20th and 21st centuries. In the years after the debut of his first collection in 1947 he was a legendary figure and the world press developed an extraordinary love affair with him, increasing their enthusiasm with each new collection. Dior never disappointed them, constantly creating clothes that were newsworthy as well as beautiful.

After his death the House of Dior continued under other designers, including his protégé Yves St. Laurent until 1960, then Marc Bohan and the (in-famous) John Galliano.

The Fashion world now awaits his successor, Riccardo Tisci's first show with curiosity.

In the meantime, enter into the fragrance universe of Christian Dior. Watch the new commercial directed by Sofia Coppola and featuring Natalie Portman for the Christian Dior perfume, "Miss Dior Chérie", and listen to the famous French song “Je t’aime… moi non plus” by Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg playing in the background.

Open the various boxes by pulling the ribbon and let yourself be drifted away into a sweet world full of luxury.

1 comment:

XLMIC said...

Love the fashion history! This is really interesting :)

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