“Without foundations there can be no fashion.” – Christian Dior
Christian Dior is credited with revolutionizing women’s fashion after World War II and bringing back glamour to France.
Christian Dior was born in 1905 in the Loire Valley town of Angers in France. In 1911 he and his wealthy family moved to Paris. He dreamed of becoming an architect at the Academie de Beaux-Arts, but his parents objected.
During the Occupation of France, after his discharge from the military, Dior found work with Lucien Lelong, the president of the Chamber of Couture. Dior met the textile magnate Marcel Boussac, known as King Cotton, who helped him open his own fashion house (Christian Dior Ltd. on Avenue Montaigne). Boussac and Dior’s artist and designer friend, Christian Berard, helped and supported Christian Dior in the campaign to restore the supremacy of Paris couture.
Christian Dior used his love of architecture in his post-World War II iconic designs. His creations, which came to be known as The “New Look,” revolutionized the fashion world after the dreary fashions of the post-war period, and started an international fashion craze.
Not everyone in the fashion world was happy about the trend toward wearing tight corsets, heavy skirts and high heels. Coco Chanel who had modernized the female wardrobe and Diana Vreeland, who at the time was a fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar, were unhappy to see the New Look stirring the female form toward tight corsets, wiring and trussing, skirts that were heavy to the point of immobilization and high heels that would damage the female posture.
photo: The Culture Trip
Sadly, Christian Dior had a heart attack while he was away in Italy in October 1957. His body was flown back to Paris for the funeral. Many celebrities, royals and designers such as Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Cardin and Balenciaga attended his funeral.
A young Yves Saint Laurent succeeded Dior as the creative designer at the House of Dior.
Maria Grazia Chiuri is the current and the first female couturier at Dior.