|The first Dior fashion show , 1947|
Christian Dior is a household name and a definition for luxury. The name sells fashion, fragrances, beauty products and exquisite jewelry and it belongs to a man that defined a new style after the harsh years of the Second World War.
Christian Dior was born in 1905, in Granville, France, but he moved to a province of Paris with his family in 1911. He always showed his love and passion for the arts, but following his father's wishes, he studied Political Sciences at the Ecole des Sciences Politiques in Paris.
Throughout his life in Paris, Dior actively pursued a creative path. He decided to open an Art Gallery in 1927 where artists like Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali actually sold some of their work. In 1931 the gallery closed and it wasn't until many years later that Dior was introduced to the fashion world with the help of Jean Ozenne, designer for several Couture Houses in Paris. Dior started making sketches for magazines and working with Robert Piguet, a respectable fashion designer. A call for war interrupted his path in 1939 and 2 years later, he joined Lucien Lelong's fashion house. With the end of the war in 1945, his colleague Pierre Balmain decided to open his own fashion house and encouraged Dior to follow the same direction. And he did.
For this iconic french designer, the big moment came in 1947, just one year after establishing his own couture house. He launched his first collection called "Corelle" ("circlet of flower petals" or "the flower women") and caused a huge impact in Paris, with editors defining it as the "New Look". With the end of the Second World War, Dior believed that women wanted something new and different from the plain and simple "uniform" style of the past.
With his groundbreaking collection, he brought back femininity and the hourglass silhouette. "I designed clothes for flower-like women, clothes with rounded shoulders, full feminine busts, and willowy waists above enormous spreading skirts. I wanted my dresses to be constructed like buildings, molded to the curves of the female form, stylizing its shape", he said.
|Christian Dior and model Simone wearing the Miss Dior dress, Spring 1949|
With Dior, women's attitude shifted to a Belle Epoque influence that defined the silhouette from the 1950s. This femininity remains in the brand's strong identity, influencing the work of other fashion designers and inspiring women all over the world.
photos via dior.com