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    

Genuine Christian Dior Lace Nightdress - Size S - Would Fit Uk 12/14 99p Sale! Christian Dior Paris Red Sleeveless Virgin Wool Dress Size Us 4 Uk 8 Pre-owned Christian Dior Cashmere Coat ParisVintage Christian Dior Persian Black Curly Lamb Wool Long Coat Sz 10, Estate NrChristian Dior 2pc Red Houndstooth Jacket & Pencil Skirt Suit Size 2 NewVintage 70s Panties String Bikini Dior Nylon Rayon Soft Low Rise Pretty Lace Women's Christian Dior Long Sleeve Button Front Silk Blend Blazer Jacket Coat 4pVintage Christian Dior Jeune Homme Charcoal Gray Wool Pea Coat Sz SChristian Dior Paris J'adore Dior T Shirt Pink Rhinestone Us M 8 F 40 VintageVintage Miss Dior White Sheer Rose Lace Satin Trim Wedding Bride Robe-size LargeGorgeous Vintage Christian Dior Satiny Soft Nightgown Sz L/xlChristian Dior White Teddy W/white Lace Trim Ruffled Legs & Fitted Cups Small 34Vintage Christian Dior Ivory & Violet Blue Floral Extra Long Ruffled Robe Christian Dior Black "i Heart Dior" Long Sleeve Top Size 10Vintage Christian Dior Separates Size 4 Silk Shirt And SweaterChristian Dior Womans Jacket 6Christian Dior Monogramed Skirt Size 42 (us Size M)Authentic Christian Dior Amazing Tank Top, Size 6 UsChristian Dior Lingerie Sleep Shirt Chemise Small Nightgown Euc And LuxuriousVintage Christian Dior Light Pink Shiny Satin Half Slip W/ Slit & Lace - MediumChristian Dior Vintage Red Black Polka Dot Silk Secretary Blouse Size 4Christian Dior Red Skirt Suit Size 4Auth Christian Dior Boutique Paris Black Stretch Long Sleeve Knit Top Sz SChristian Dior Lounge Wear Cream & Wine Housecoat/robe SmWomens Half Slip Christian Dior Off White 19 Inches Lace Bottom Gently UsedChristian Dior Wool Coat - Size 10 Dark GreenChristian Dior Size 10r Womans Rain Trench Coat With Black LinerChristian Dior Brown Floral Rose With White Lace Night Gown VintageChristian Dior Vintage 1970's Lace Embroidered Eyelet Flannel Nightgown Gown SChristian Dior Boutique Paris I Heart Dior Long Sleeve Shirt Size 40 Or Size 8Vtg Christian Dior Bridal White Lace Long Side Slit Satin Nightgown SVtg Christian Dior 4 / 6 Black Long Tailored Blazer Padded Shoulders Side SlitNew Lovely T-shirt Coco And Dior Illustration Perfume Limited Edition WomenChristian Dior Purple Skirt Blazer Wool Suit Size 8 Excellent Used ConditionChristian Dior Diorissimo Ultra Sheer Leg Nylon Pantyhose In Sandalfoot - Size 4

Recent News: Christian Dior Clothing

Source: Google News

Cate Blanchett Steps Out in Stella McCartney, Christian Dior Couture for 2014 ...
The Fashion Spot, September 29th

Later that day Cate attended a screening of Blue Jasmine, the film which won her an Oscar for Best Actress, in a Christian Dior frock coat from its Fall 2014 Couture collection. The forest-green piece with full skirting and kinked-up collar looked a...Read more

Dior's Breakout Beauty Look Was Inspired by Surfers
Elle (blog), September 29th

"For Raf Simons, the show is a continuation of haute couture," explained Peter Philips, the creative and image director of Christian Dior makeup, "so we found a satin strip in a chemical neon color—four colors, actually! We're pairing it with a very...Read more

At the Christian Dior S/S '15 Show, Dakota Fanning, Olivia Palermo, Marion ...
Bustle (satire) (press release) (registration), September 29th

As the month of September draws to a close, that (very sadly) means the Spring/Summer 2015 edition of Fashion Month is quickly coming to an end, too. There's no clearer sign of that than the presentation of the Christian Dior Spring '15 collection...Read more

Christian Dior's Woven Boots
New York Times (blog), September 26th

The past, present and future all collided at today's Christian Dior spring 2015 show, which felt like an extension of the label's couture collection earlier this year. Modern versions of 18th-century gilets and court coats were paired with shoes...Read more

Slideshow: The Atmosphere at Dior Spring 2015
Style.com, September 26th

Paris fashion week is under way, and here are the best shots from the scene at the Dior Spring 2015 show. Read our review and see the entire collection here. Trends / Fashion: Christian Dior Spring 2015 - Fashion Show Atmosphere. Share Tweet...Read more

Christian Dior's invisible runway at the Louvre is a hit at Paris fashion week
The Guardian, September 26th

For a lesson in how to balance reverence with iconoclasm you need look no further than the catwalk shows of Raf Simons at Christian Dior. And this balancing act is not just a clever trick; the bottom line depends on it. For the veneration felt by...Read more

Style Christian Dior Spring 2015 Ready-to-Wear
Style.com, September 26th

It referenced an 18th-century court coat, which evoked the historicism of Christian Dior's original Bar silhouette. Fashion present floats on an ocean of fashion past; Simons simply chose to ride the time machine a little further back. But he paired...Read more

Front Row Style at Christian Dior S/S 15 Fashion Show
Irish Independent, September 24th

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 26: Olivia Palermo attends the Christian Dior show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015 on September 26, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images). PARIS ...Read more