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    

Cristian Dior Runway Yellow Green Aline Dress 2014 Ss 38Christian Dior Boutique Dove Gray Satin Ring Collar Gown Size Us 6Christian Dior Fuchsia Pleated Collar Jacket Size Us 10 NewDior Size 4 Long-sleeved Cardigan / Cashmere-silk / Red, Dior Badge / EucDior Size 4 Lime Green 6-button Cardigan / Cashmere-silk W/ Dior Badge / EucDior Size 4 Lined Maxi Dress W/ Ruffled Front / Silk In Brown W/ Other ColorsHot! Christian Dior Womens Rhinestone J'adore T Shirt Bling Us Size 8 Medium Dior Boutique Silk Red & White Polka Dotted Asymmetrical Flamenco Style SkirtDior Size 6 V-neck Pullover Tee / Cashmere-silk / Lime Green, Dior Badge / EucVintage Cristian Dior Pink Crepe/lace Night Dress/gown Lingerie Fr 42 Uk 12/14 Christian Dior Fr36 (us4 To 4/6) Beige Crinkle Silk Cami Top W/ Origami FoldsChristian Dior 2pc Navy Blue Button Front Jacket & Pleated Skirt Suit Size 4Nwt Christian Dior Log Blue Swim Swimsuit Bikini M MediumChristian Dior 2pc White & Navy Houndstooth Blazer Jacket & Pencil Skirt SuitAuth Christian Dior Black Wool Classic Dress Pants Sz 48 Bn82Christian Dior Sports Olive Drab Genuine Leather Above -knee A-line Skirt Size LVintage Miss Dior Sheer Peignoir Robe Cover-up Sz Large *new With Tags*Dior Sizes 6 & 4 Knit Twinset / Cardigan, Strap Top / Rayon Blend / Off-whiteChristian Dior 2 Piece Gown And Robe Nwt Size Med.2 Pair Christian Dior Stockings, GrayUsed Christian Dior Intimates Demi Bra Style 4765 Nude Floral Size 34b2 Pair Christian Dior Stockings, BlackChristian Dior ~ Beautiful Long Light Pink Satin & Lace Gown & Robe Set ~small3 Pr Christian Dior Vintage Nylon Stockings 2 Pair Christian Dior Stockings, BlackChristian Dior Black Flat Front Herringbone A Line Skirt Sz 12Dior Polo Shirt Size S, 38 Italian, Cashmere/silk/woolBeautiful Vintage Christian Dior Delicate Pink & White Nightgown -sz Small -newVintage Christian Dior White Cotton W/eyelet~lace~housedress~lounge~nightgown MVintage Christian Dior Silky Lacey Satin Long Nightgown-bust To 40"Womens Christian Dior Creme Evening Skirt Suit. Sz 14Christian Dior Nightgown Size Large Medium Small Unknown Size #ss32Ladies SweaterArmani Exchange Lurex Pullover Balenciaga DiorChristian Dior Vintage Brown Faux Fur Basic Coat Size 8 100% WoolAmazing Nwt Christian Dior Suit Jacket Wool Size 14 Fuschia Brass ButtonsChristian Dior Floral Printed Sheer Dress 36 Xs Vintage $569 No ReserveNew Lovely T-shirt Perfume Dior Roses Macaron Paris France Limited Edition WomenVintage Christian Dior Silky Lacey Satin Long Nightgown-size L-bust To 42"2 Pair Christian Dior Stockings, TanChristian Dior Style 4209 Lace Underwire Bra Size 34c In Ivory 1292 Pair Christian Dior Stockings, French Champagne2 Pair Christian Dior Stockings, Bordeaux$1200 Christian Dior Pensil Skirt - Orange Sz 10 - New With Tag - No ReserveLadies T-shirt White W/ Rhinestones Dior Logo/ Size Sm, Med, L/top Quality *** Christian Dior *** Purple Cashmere Silk Beaded Sheath Dress. Size 4Christian Dior Boutique Ivory Wool Graphic Print Twinset Turtleneck Sweater Sz 4Christian Dior 4266 36d Bra Periwinkle Blue Unlined Full Coverage Sheer See ThruDior Size 6 V-neck Pullover In Purple / Cashmere-silk / Ribbed At Edges / EucVintage Christian Dior Nightgown Size LargeVintage Christian Dior Pastel Floral Night Gown Sz Large Womens Christian Dior Sz.s Pink Lace L/s Sleepshirt Nightgown GownVintage French Les Bas Christian Dior Nylon Pantyhose Stockings Lot Of 2 NosChristian Dior Camisole Tank Lace Satin Size M Beautiful Authentic!Vintage Christian Dior Cream Monogram Embroidery Lace Ribbon Half Slip (sz S)Vintage Shear Christian Dior Brown & Pink Nightgown With Matching RobeM 8 Vtg Christian Dior For Peace Sign Rhinestone Crystal Logo Tee Shirt TopChristian Dior 2pr Taupe Hi Leg Panties Sz Med Msrp $22Christian Dior Parfum Cd Uniforms Size M Peter Pan Collard ShirtChristian Dior Size 6 Career Blouse Light Pink Mint Condition

Recent News: Christian Dior Clothing

Source: Google News

Haute Couture and the Cold War: Dior in Moscow, 1959
TIME, July 14th

The models parading through Moscow that day were in the Russian capital ahead of a five-night Christian Dior fashion show. Yves Saint Laurent had recently taken over the brand's Parisian atelier and reimagined the seductive “New Look” for which the ...Read more

Jennifer Lawrence face palms Emma Watson at Christian Dior show in Paris
The Independent, July 8th

The two were posing for pictures at Christian Dior's latest couture show in Paris, when Lawrence presumably got bored and gave photographers something much more entertaining to look at. Jennifer Lawrence takes Watson by surprise at the Dior show...Read more

Suzy Menkes: An Alleluia Moment For Dior
Vogue.com, July 8th

In her latest Vogue column, Suzy Menkes reports from the Christian Dior show during Paris Couture Week. Picture credit: Indigital. Charlize Theron, in a silvered, bare-back dress, her partner Sean Penn in tow, fought her way backstage at the Dior show...Read more

Raf Simons makes Christian Dior travel through history
Reuters, July 7th

PARIS (Reuters) - As Paris Haute Couture week gathered pace on its second day, Raf Simons offered a walk through history at Christian Dior, with a mix of 18th century-inspired dresses with side hoops and embroidered masculine court coats. The designer ...Read more

At Dior, a Future Past
New York Times, July 7th

It was not an accident, in other words, that Raf Simons set his Christian Dior show in a circular white construction that resembled nothing so much as a spaceship that had set down in the middle of the garden behind the Musée Rodin. The Bar jacket had ...Read more

Gallery: Christian Dior - Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week Fall 2014
The Province, July 7th

A model walks the runway at the Christian Dior Fall 2014 Haute Couture collection show as part of Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week on July 7, 2014 in Paris, France. Photograph by: AP Photo, Jacques Brinon. Christian Dior Fall 2014 Haute Couture...Read more

Charlize Theron & Sean Penn Make One Hot Couple at Christian Dior Fashion ...
Just Jared, July 7th

Charlize Theron and Sean Penn pose for photos while attending the Christian Dior fashion show held during Paris Fashion Week – Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015 on Monday (July 7) in Paris, France. The 38-year-old actress and the 53-year-old actor ...Read more

Raf Simons is revitalising Christian Dior - and the rarefied world of French ...
The Independent, July 4th

Nevertheless, he's been commuting for a decade, first to Germany and Italy for Jil Sander, where he designed both the men's and women's line from 2005 until February 2012, and latterly for Christian Dior. We meet in May, when Simons presented his ...Read more