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.

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Recent News: Christian Dior Clothing

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Charlize Theron dazzles in new J'adore Dior campaign
Daily Mail, August 29th

'A new world, every hope is possible. The future is bright, the future is gold, the future is woman. The past can be beautiful, a memory, a dream, but it's no place to live, make your own story, and now it's the time. The only way out is to the light...Read more

Christian Dior Advertises For Six Month 'Reception Intern', Who MUST Have ...
Huffington Post UK, August 29th

Christian Dior, one of the world's leading names in fashion, has advertised a six-month internship at its office in London – but along with some controversial applicant requirements. The 'reception internship' requires both “less than two years” work...Read more

Charlize Theron Shares Love for Dior, Thinks Brand Embraces and Appreciates ...
International Business Times AU, August 28th

Aside from the clothes, she also has an ongoing ad campaign for Christian Dior Parfums' J'adore fragrance. Being guilty about her designer clothes is not the only time that the actress touch base with her African roots. Since she was raised in South...Read more

Dior's New Jewelry Collection Interprets Couture Style Through Gemstones
Forbes, August 28th

Though de Castellane typically employs plenty of enamel and colorful floral designs in her work, the ArchiDior collection was inspired not by the roses that Christian Dior adored, but rather by the sketches of his couture clothing collections. “Flowers...Read more

Art Embodied at its Most Elegant
artnet News, August 27th

In his 20s, Christian Dior exhibited works by Picasso, Dalí, Cocteau, Miró, Ernst, Klee, and Braque in his art gallery near the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Perhaps the simple lesson the future fashion designer learned from those provocateurs was that...Read more

Happy Birthday Jennifer Lawrence - A look back at the Dior star's style
The Independent, August 15th

I was, of course, struck by her incredible on-screen presence in these blockbuster films, but also impressed by her powerful interpretations of subtler, more rounded characters" commented Raf Simons, creative director of woman's wear for Christian...Read more

Bella Blisset's beauty buzz: Dior sees red, plus Christian Louboutin shares ...
Daily Mail, August 9th

Back in the 1950s, Christian Dior would usher models wearing shots of red down the catwalk to capture the audience's attention. He named these models 'the Trafalgars'. Now a new 5 Couleurs eye palette called Trafalgar carries a burgundy at its core...Read more

Christian Dior Couture Sales Jump 19%; Teams Up With Princess Grace ...
JOSIC: News, Sports, Style, Culture & Technology, August 4th

Sales of Christian Dior Couture have jumped 19 percent. The Christian Dior group owns more than 40 percent of LVMH and the entirety of its eponymous fashion house, released its results on Friday, August 1. For the 2013-2014 financial year, Christian...Read more