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.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Fashion Columbia Study Collection
1960s Fashion and Textiles
Vintage Fashion Guild
The Antique Corset Gallery
Clubs & Associations
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Christian Dior Clothing
Source: Google News
Haute Couture and the Cold War: Dior in Moscow, 1959TIME, 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 â€śNew Lookâ€ť for which the ...Read more
Jennifer Lawrence face palms Emma Watson at Christian Dior show in ParisThe 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 DiorVogue.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 historyReuters, 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 PastNew 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 MusĂ©e Rodin. The Bar jacket had ...Read more
Gallery: Christian Dior - Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week Fall 2014The 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 â€“ 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