When Christian Dior introduced his New Look in 1947, it was not the product of decades in the trenches as a fashion designer. Rather, Dior’s famous postwar collection marked his professional debut.

Which is not to say that the collection was purely a case of beginner’s luck. Dior had been in the Paris fashion world for years, including productive stints as assistants to Robert Piguet and Lucien Lélong. By the time he opened his own couture house in 1946, he was already 41 years old.

Dior called his first collection Corolle, which was French for flower petals. Indeed, compared to the boxy, utilitarian, World War II fashions that had dominated the 1940s, Dior’s collection was a bouquet of bounty, with yards upon yards of fabric lavished on just one dress. The fashion press was smitten, with “Harper’s Bazaar” being the first to call it the New Look.

In fact, there was much that was not new at all about Dior’s breakthrough. Some have detected 1860s French influences, while Dior himself said that the collection reminded him of the clothes his mother had worn to the races when he was a young boy.

Though the fashion press fawned over Dior (“Vogue” covered him obsessively until his death in 1957), many Europeans were shocked by the excessive use of material at a time when fabric was still being rationed. Others resented the ornamentation of women—fellow Parisian Coco Chanel dismissed Dior’s look as the equivalent of dressing women up like armchairs.

Perhaps in deference to his critics, Dior’s subsequent collections were more pared down. For example, his A-line dresses, whose silhouette resembled the letter A, were signatures of the casual, unfussy 1950s.

After Dior’s death, Yves Saint Laurent, who had been a design assistant with the firm, was named chief designer, even though he was only 21. Within two years Marc Bohan had replaced Saint Laurent, and he stayed at that post for 28 years, longer than Dior himself had been at the helm of his own company...

Italian designer Gianfranco Ferre followed Bohan, but the next designer to make his mark on Dior was a Brit, John Galliano, who arrived at Dior in 1996. Many critics believe Galliano has best understood Dior’s unique aesthetic.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

MyVintageVogue

MyVintageVogue

The history of 20th-century women’s fashion largely played out in the pages of magazines such as “Harper’s Ba… [read review or visit site]

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

The Fashion Columbia Study Collection (FCSC) is the digital home of the Columbia College Chicago’s fashion archiv… [read review or visit site]

1960s Fashion and Textiles

1960s Fashion and Textiles

Put on your go-go boots and check out this wavy, groovy tribute to 1960s fashion and textiles, courtesy of the Vict… [read review or visit site]

Vintage Fashion Guild

Vintage Fashion Guild

While primarily designed to steer buyers to online vintage clothing shops, this blog is chock full of interesting, … [read review or visit site]

Fashion-Era

Fashion-Era

Bursting at the seams with content, this site contains hundreds of pages of fashion and costume history, including … [read review or visit site]

The Antique Corset Gallery

The Antique Corset Gallery

Take a deep breath, and check out this sparse, simple, and beautifully designed site showcasing 250 years of corset… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Christian Dior Pret-a-porter Vintage Black & White Applique Cardigan Size MediumAuthentic Christian Dior Velvet Couture Designer Blazer Vintage 80s Jacket DressChristian Dior Made In Italy Big Jersey Fabric For Dress Or Shirt Cm 200 X160 Christian Dior Lambskin Silk Lined Ostrich Skin Pattern Coat ParisSrunch Butt Bikini Lot Dior FashionsPretty & Lacy Champagne Christian Dior Panties - L 7 - Excellent Vintage NwtL*space Stella Bikini Black Sold Out Size Small S As Seen On Damsel In DiorVtg Small Bust To 36" Christian Dior Long Ivory Satin Nightgown Elegant GownNwt~authentic~christian Dior~prefall 2013 Runway~jacquard Skirt~size 38~$1095Giambattista Valli Printed Duchesse Coat Floral-print Satin Size 38 Christian Dior Paris Women's Off-white Silk Skirt Ninotchka Sz 8 Nwt $3300Christian Dior T-shirtChristian Dior Couture Silky Straight Skirt-perfect Condition-sz 12-lace PrintVtg M Elegant Satin Charmeuse Miss Dior Long Shell Pink Nightgown Fancy Detail Never Worn Christian Dior Platform Blue Satin Brown Snakeskin Bow Heel Shoe 40.5Christian Dior Women's Red Knee Length Cap Sleeve Dress, Size 4, Made In FranceAuth Christian Dior Boutique Blue Yellow J'adore Dior Sleeveless T-shirt Sz 6Vintage Christian Dior Monogrammed Large Ivory Half Slip Nylon Rayon Poly CdVintage 60's Light Blue/lace Trim Christian Dior Nightgown 3/4 Length Sz MediumJ'adore Dior Women's White Pink Stretch T-shirt Xs SmallVtg Christian Dior Pink Satin White Lace Peignoir Set Wedding Trousseau SmallAuthentic Christian Dior Crystal Beaded Green Sleeveless Shirt Blouse Tank Top 6Stunning Christian Dior Jacket/blazerChristian Dior Monogram Pants XsVintage Christian Dior Equestrian Hunter Blazer Jacket 100% Wool Sz 8 Medium EucChristian Dior Vintage Sheer Floral Blouse Top Black Size 6 DesignerVintage Christian Dior Pink Satiny Lace & Ribbon Nightgown Sz SAuthentic Women's Size 10 Brand New Christian Dior White Cotton Top Designer: Christian Dior Denim Skirt, Size 10 (30), New W/ TagsChristian Dior Vintage/ilgwu Laced Long Sleeves White Night Gown ~ Sz L ~ Guc!New Christian Dior Long Light Flannel Nylon Pink With Lace Nightgown Nwt Size LChristian Dior Corset 34bVintage Christian Dior Boutique Couture Fitted Jacket Sz 2Christian Dior Jacket Size 14New Amazing Christian Dior Leather Runway Dress Size 36 $27,000New Designer Christian Dior Black Lace One Piece Body Suit - 34 BVintage Genuine Christian Dior Pink Embroidered Satin & Lace Negligee/gownChristian Dior Monsieur Burgandy 3/4 Sleeve Robe One Size Fits Ex CondVintage Miss Dior Black Sheer Floral Print Robe,satin Tie,puff Sleeves,size L

Recent News: Christian Dior Clothing

Source: Google News

'Dior and I': Inside the Doc Recalling Raf Simons' Debut Christian Dior Collection
Hollywood Reporter, April 22nd

The latest title to join the fashion film genre is Dior and I, the documentary that enters the House of Christian Dior as the brand's new artistic director Raf Simons created his first collection for the fall/winter 2013 season. After co-producing 2008...Read more

What's in Your Bag? We Asked Peter Philips, Creative-and-Image Director of ...
Vanity Fair, April 21st

News of Peter Philips's becoming the creative-and-image director of Christian Dior Makeup did not come as a big surprise to many indsutry insiders, but rather an obvious choice. You see, Philips climbed the ranks in the beauty industry with his...Read more

Designer Gets His Film Close-Up
Wall Street Journal, April 18th

It comes at a tense time: It was spring 2012, Mr. Simons had recently been appointed at Dior and he had just weeks to put on a big haute couture show. A top person at the atelier, in Paris, had run off to fulfill the requests of a client in New York...Read more

The Ghost of Christian Dior Made an Appearance on the Dior and I Set
New York Magazine, April 18th

Last night, Dior and I — a documentary that offers a peek into the atelier of Christian Dior — premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Shot in 2012 by Frédéric Tcheng (Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel), it follows the newly installed Raf Simons...Read more

Dior's Down with Brooklyn
W Magazine, April 18th

Stepping up fashion game by naming designer Marissa Webb the brand's new creative director and a collaboration with Roland Mouret. Take that, Target. DiCaprio, Leonardo Was fat-shamed by the New York Post. Sorry, dude. Dior Will debut the brand's ...Read more

This Week's Wow: Dior and I Delivers an Intimate Look at Christian Dior, Past ...
InStyle, April 18th

The Moment: The opening scene of Dior and I, an engaging new documentary that follows the designer Raf Simons (pictured above, in a scene from the film) at the moment of his arrival at the house in 2012, juxtaposes archival footage of Christian Dior in...Read more

Christian Dior's 2015 Cruise collection to show at Brooklyn's Navy Yard
New York Daily News, April 16th

Christian Dior Cruise 2015 to be shown in Brooklyn FRANCOIS GUILLOT French fashion label Dior is crossing the Brooklyn Bridge for its 2015 Cruise collection. It's a double-crossing situation at Dior, but there are no tricks involved. French luxury...Read more

Christian Dior Couture Collection Hits Hong Kong Runway
Fashion Times, April 10th

Christian Dior Couture Collection Hits Hong Kong Runway. Apr 10, 2014 06:29 PM EDT. By Gabriela Barkho, Fashion Times Reporter. Dior Couture Hong Kong Show (Photo : Dior). Print This. Text + -. Share This. Facebook Share. Twitter Tweet. Christian ...Read more