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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Dior dips a timid toe into the waters of e-commerceDigiday, November 17th
On Monday, Christian Dior shoes went on sale online for the first time, thanks to a partnership between the French fashion house and high-end department store Bergdorf Goodman. The digital pop-up shop, featuring 14 styles, including bejeweled sneakers ...Read more
Emilia Clarke named face of Christian Dior jewellery lineThe Upcoming, November 17th
The house of Dior may still be reeling from the news of Raf Simons' departure, but it appears that it's onwards and upwards for the iconic French brand. They have recently unveiled a new brand ambassador â€“ actress Emilia Clarke. Known for her unique ...Read more
Dior Releases New Looks, Out TodayDaily Front Row (blog), November 17th
In the immortal words of the late great couturier Christian Dior: â€śI dream of making women not only more beautiful but also happier.â€ť Out today, Dior: New Looks is a beautiful photographic tome that certainly made us at The Daily smile when it hit the...Read more
Dior Breaks Its E-commerce BanWWD, November 15th
â€śThere is no e-commerce site in North America for Dior,â€ť said Pamela Baxter, president and chief executive officer of perfumes and cosmetics Americas at LVMH MoĂ«t Hennessy Louis Vuitton, president of Christian Dior Couture . â€śThe whole purpose and goal ...Read more
Raf Speaks: "There's Never Enough Time"Vogue.co.uk, November 6th
RAF SIMONS has spoken about the pressure that designers experience in the current fashion system. The designer, whose recent departure from Dior was said to be related to his displeasure at the pace of the industry, revealed that the structure of the ...Read more
Christian Dior's Eyewear Campaign Appears to Forecast the Future (Forum Buzz)The Fashion Spot, November 4th
Raf Simons hasn't even officially exited 30 Avenue Montaigne yet and we're already seeing subtle changes to Christian Dior's advertising concept. The brand's eyewear campaign for Fall 2015 was shot by the provocative and the sometimes controversial ...Read more
Emilia Clarke Stuns in Christian Dior's New Jewelry CampaignInStyle, November 4th
Christian Dior has officially tapped the wide-eyed brunette as the new face of its Rose de Vents jewelry collection. Photographed by Patrick Demarchelier, the campaign images showcase both Clarke's stunning natural beauty and the multi-length yellow...Read more
Fashion news: Designer Raf Simons exits Christian DiorVine Report, November 1st
Following a successful Spring-Summer 2016 collection for Paris Fashion Week earlier this month, Christian Dior announced Thursday via fashion website WWD that creative director Raf Simons is leaving the fashion house. Belgian designer Raf Simons ...Read more