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Christian Dior was a french fashion designer who was born in   1905.   Dior is the founder of one of the world’s top fashion houses, also called Christian Dior , but now owned by LVMH.

 

25th April 1950: Fashion couturier Christian Dior (1905 - 1957), designer of the 'New Look' and the 'A-line', with six of his models after a fashion parade at the Savoy Hotel, London.
25th April 1950: Fashion couturier Christian Dior (1905 – 1957), designer of the ‘New Look’ and the ‘A-line’, with six of his models after a fashion parade at the Savoy Hotel, London.

 

Dior  worked with fashion designer Robert Piguet,  up  until  around 1940  when he was called up for military service.

 

1950 --- Christian Dior Writing at Desk --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

In 1942, when Dior left the army, he joined the fashion house of Lucien Lelong, where he and Pierre Balmain were the primary designers. For the duration of World War II, Dior, as an employee of Lelong — who labored to preserve the French fashion industry during wartime for economic and artistic reasons — designed dresses for the wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators, as did other fashion houses that remained in business during the war, including Jean PatouJeanne Lanvin, and Nina Ricci .

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On 8 December 1946 Dior founded his fashion house, backed by Marcel Boussac, a cotton-fabric magnate. The actual name of the line of his first collection, presented in early 1947, was Corolle (literally the botanical term corolla or circlet of flower petals in English),

1954 - Christian Dior Prepares the 1955 AutumnWinter collection. Model wearing the ‘Première soirée’ dress
1954 – Christian Dior Prepares the 1955 AutumnWinter collection. Model wearing the ‘Première soirée’ dress

 

Christian Dior, 1948.
Christian Dior, 1948.

 

Christian Dior in his Paris salon, 1948.
Christian Dior in his Paris salon, 1948.

 

'New Look' Christian Dior, 1947.
‘New Look’ Christian Dior, 1947.

but the phrase New Look was coined for it by Carmel Snow, the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar.

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In 1947, Dior exploded onto the Paris fashion scene with designs that challenged the wartime restrictions. Dior reintroduced a femininity and focus on luxury to women’s fashion. His innovative designs made him at that time the   most successful fashion designer in the world. His designs have been worn by film stars and  and royalty .

Christian Dior and Princess Margaret November 1951 Paris ©
Christian Dior and Princess Margaret November 1951 Paris ©
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Dior’s designs were more voluptuous than the boxy, fabric-conserving shapes of the recent World War II styles, influenced by the rations on fabric.

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He was a master at creating shapes and silhouettes; Dior is quoted as saying “I have designed flower women.” His look employed fabrics lined predominantly with percale, boned, bustier-style bodices, hip padding, wasp-waisted corsets and petticoats that made his dresses flare out from the waist, giving his models a very curvaceous form.

Stockings were highlighted for the first time when Christian Dior (right), noted French designer, exhibited his French collection. ' March 11, 1948 Paris, France
Stockings were highlighted for the first time when Christian Dior (right), noted French designer, exhibited his French collection. ‘ March 11, 1948 Paris, France

Initially, women protested because his designs covered up their legs, which they had been unused to because of the previous limitations on fabric. There was also some backlash to Dior’s designs due to the amount of fabrics used in a single dress or suit.

Protesters of "The Little Below the Knee Club". (formed by Mrs Woodward in August 1947 in Dallas, Texas, USA)
Protesters of “The Little Below the Knee Club”. (formed by Mrs Woodward in August 1947 in Dallas, Texas, USA)

 

dior ball gown 1948
dior ball gown 1948

 

During one photo shoot in a Paris market, the models were attacked by female vendors over this profligacy, but opposition ceased as the wartime shortages ended. The “New Look” revolutionized women’s dress and reestablished Paris as the center of the fashion world after World War 

Christian Dior

 

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EARLY WORK IN FASHION

Following the closing of his gallery, Dior began to make ends meet by selling his fashion sketches, and in 1935, landed a job illustrating the magazine Figaro Illustré. Several years later, Dior was hired as a design assistant by Paris couturier Robert Piguet. However, when World War II began the following year, Dior served in the south of France as an officer in the French army.

Following France’s surrender to Germany in 1940, Dior returned to Paris, where he was soon hired by couturier Lucien Lelong. Throughout the remaining years of the war, Lelong’s design house would consistently dress the women of both Nazis and French collaborators.

During this same time, Dior’s younger sister, Catherine, was working for the French Resistance. (She was captured and sent to a concentration camp, but survived; she was eventually released in 1945.)

 

Christian Dior sitting, photo by Loomis Dean, 1957
Christian Dior sitting, photo by Loomis Dean, 1957

 

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In The Studio Of Christian Dior, 1957.
In The Studio Of Christian Dior, 1957.
Dior died while on holiday in MontecatiniItaly on 23 October 1957. Some reports say that he died of a heart attack after choking on a fish bone. Times obituary stated that he died of a heart attack after playing a game of cards However, one of Dior’s acquaintances, the Paris socialite Baron de Redé, wrote in his memoirs that contemporary rumor was that the heart attack had been caused by a strenuous sexual encounter As of 2013 the exact circumstances of Dior’s death remain undisclosed.
Silk Taffeta Dior Evening Gown, 1951
Silk Taffeta Dior Evening Gown, 1951
Dior 1957.
Dior 1957.

 

 

Christian Dior 1950s.
Christian Dior 1950s.

 

 

 

 

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