When Christian Dior introduced his New Look in 1947, it was not the product of decades in the trenches as a fashion designer. Rather, Diorâ€™s famous postwar collection marked his professional debut.
Which is not to say that the collection was purely a case of beginnerâ€™s luck. Dior had been in the Paris fashion world for years, including productive stints as assistants to Robert Piguet and Lucien LĂ©long. 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, Diorâ€™s collection was a bouquet of bounty, with yards upon yards of fabric lavished on just one dress. The fashion press was smitten, with â€śHarperâ€™s Bazaarâ€ť being the first to call it the New Look.
In fact, there was much that was not new at all about Diorâ€™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 (â€śVogueâ€ť 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 womenâ€”fellow Parisian Coco Chanel dismissed Diorâ€™s look as the equivalent of dressing women up like armchairs.
Perhaps in deference to his critics, Diorâ€™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 Diorâ€™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 Diorâ€™s unique aesthetic.
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Recent News: Christian Dior Clothing
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Christian Dior : Press releaseNASDAQ, March 6th
Christian Dior has initiated - as LVMH has done - a process with a view to converting its legal status from that of a French public limited-liability company (sociĂ©tĂ© anonyme) to that of a European Company (Societas Europaea). European Company status ...Read more
Smash-and-grab raid on Christian Dior store in LondonDaily Mail, March 4th
Police hunt gang of six who fled on mopeds after attempting smash-and-grab raid on Christian Dior store. Police were called at 12.15am to the store in Conduit Street, central London; The group smashed the store's glass and damaged the shutters...Read more
Charlize Theron Stuns in Dior Dress on Oscars 2014 Red CarpetJust Jared, March 2nd
The 38-year-old actress rocked a Christian Dior haute couture dress on the red carpet of the big show â€“ she looks great!! Be on the lookout for Charlize on stage tonight â€“ she'll be presenting an award during the show. FYI: Charlize accessorized with...Read more
Christian Dior Has Won The Ugly Shoe Race With These Hideous New Shoes ...TheGloss, March 2nd
We are suckers for high-end accessories, but Christian Dior just sent out shoes so ugly we think it's a practical joke. Every Paris Fashion Week we look forward to the Christian Dior ready to wear show. But this season, while we were enthused about the...Read more
Fall 2014 Ready-to-WearStyle.com, February 28th
See all Timeline. Christian Dior Fall 2014 Ready-to-Wear-Christian Dior F2014RTW; Christian Dior Spring 2014 Couture-Christian Dior S2014CTR; Christian Dior Pre-Fall 2014-Christian Dior 2014PF; Christian Dior Spring 2014 Ready-to-Wear-Christian Dior ...Read more
Paris Fashion Week live: Watch the stars arrive for Christian Dior A/W catwalk ...Mirror.co.uk, February 28th
If there's one place in the world we'd like to be today, it's the Christian Dior show at Paris Fashion Week. And because we can't be there (and we know you can't either) we've decided to stream the whole thing LIVE for you - so you you wont miss out on...Read more
Dior debuts Jennifer Lawrence ads; she talks (in)famous Oscar dressLos Angeles Times, February 21st
Jennifer Lawrence is at it again with French fashion house Christian Dior, which has debuted the Oscar winner's latest ad campaign for Miss Dior. The "Miss Lawrence" images mark the "American Hustle" star's third campaign with the brand and are the...Read more
LIFE With Dior: Rare Photos From the Birth of the 'New Look'TIME, February 11th
The monsieur in question was none other than (in writer Jeanne Perkins marvelous characterization) â€śa timid, middle-aged, insignificant-looking little Frenchman named Christian Dior,â€ť and the fashion earthquake he unleashed was something called, simply ...Read more