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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What is Christian Dior doing putting on a show in Tokyo?
The Guardian, December 16th

“Beneath the surface softness, Christian Dior's work was very architectural,” Raf Simons, Dior's creative director, told me the day before the show. “There is a strong connection there with Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake. When I examine...Read more

A history of Dior couture as photographed by Patrick Demarchelier, in a new ...
Architectural Digest (blog), December 15th

“[Christian] Dior creates a brilliant nostalgia,” Cecil Beaton wrote of the illustrious fashion designer in 1954. And certainly his hallmarks—pleated skirts that spread 80 feet in circumference and demanded a waist no bigger around than a grapefruit...Read more

Christian Dior is a (slimline) winner at Tokyo's national sumo wrestling arena
The Guardian, December 12th

What has changed in the 68 years since Christian Dior founded his atelier is that the story now needs to reach customers living many thousands of miles from the Avenue Montaigne. And so, in pursuit of the pot of gold at the end of the luxury rainbow...Read more

Designer Christian Dior dress sold to highest bidder after donated to ...
Leicester Mercury, December 12th

A vintage designer dress has been sold to the highest bidder for £350 after it was donated to a charity shop in Leicester. Sue Ryder Care, in Loseby Lane, held an auction for a Christian Dior dress after it was found among other donations. It is an...Read more

Ready-To-Wear Christian Dior - Pre
Vogue.com, December 11th

Under the watchful largesse of Japan's current stars of Sumo wrestling, their static portraits hung in the rafters of Tokyo's vast sumo stadium, Kokugikan, Raf Simons showed his Esprit Tokyo 2015 collection (or pre-autumn/winter as it is more commonly...Read more

Christian Dior Pre-Fall 2015
Style.com, December 11th

The house of Dior has a long history with Japan. In the early '50s Christian Dior designed a series of looks in fabrics from Kyoto's famous Tatsumura workshop. Around the same time, the Tokyo department store Daimaru began selling his haute couture...Read more

Dior Pre-Fall 2015
Women's Wear Daily, December 11th

Carrefour SA · Chanel SA · Charming Shoppes · Cherokee Inc. Chico's FAS · Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd. Christian Dior SA · Christian Siriano · Clarins Group · Coach Inc. Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA · Coty Inc. Creatures of the Wind ...Read more

Christian Dior, Stella McCartney, Jean Paul Gaultier Design Christmas Trees ...
Fashion Times, December 1st

Designers and brands have transformed 33 Christmas trees to be auctioned off for charity. The 19th edition of the annual event featured designs by Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior, Stella McCartney and Ali Mahdavi. The trees were revealed on Thursday ...Read more