Christian Dior

Christian Dior was born in 1905 near Normandy, France. Despite his family's insistence that he attend the École des Sciences Politiques in Paris, he found his way into the arts. He opened a gallery exhibiting artists like Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. Dior entered the fashion world when a dress couturier hired him and studied styling alongside fellow designer Pierre Balmain. Dior is most famously credited with bringing back haute couture in Paris after WWII with "The New Look" for women, incorporating a cinched waist, full calf-length skirt, and padded hips. Dior did away with the austere wartime practicality of clothing and reacted against fabric rations,[1] lengthening hemlines to create a modern, feminine silhouette. His design recalled the pre-war role of women as the heralds of luxury and elegance and was soon worn and popularized by Hollywood actresses like Marilyn Monroe. However, this look was not embraced by all women; some felt that the independence granted them during the war was being curtailed by Dior's restrictive style. The "Little Below the Knee Club" formed to protest long hemlines, which they saw as unnecessarily expensive and reminiscent of an outdated Victorian modesty. Coco Chanel seemed to agree with them, saying, "Dior doesn't dress women; he upholsters them!" [2] Dior died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1957, but the House of Dior continues to be known for its attention to detail, use of luxury fabric, and delicate embroidery. A series of artistic designers have taken leadership of the brand, including Yves Saint Laurent, who maintained Dior's sensibility but with a more youthful touch, and later John Galliano, who was dismissed due to his scandalous campaigns and show themes. The more conservative Raf Simons took control in 2012, but today the first woman at the helm is Maria Grazia Chiuri, who focuses on individualism and expression in her work. She brought back the famous Dior Saddle Bag, targeting millennials in her ad campaigns. It is poignant that the brand should fall into her hands; after years of older men dictating the definition of femininity, she has an opportunity to break apart the narrow cage of Dior's perfect woman and introduce a much-needed playfulness and freedom.[4]

Christian Dior

08-15-21

Christian Dior was born in 1905 near Normandy, France. Despite his family's insistence that he attend the École des Sciences Politiques in Paris, he found his way into the arts. He opened a gallery exhibiting artists like Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. Dior entered the fashion world when a dress couturier hired him and studied styling alongside fellow designer Pierre Balmain. Dior is most famously credited with bringing back haute couture in Paris after WWII with "The New Look" for women, incorporating a cinched waist, full calf-length skirt, and padded hips. Dior did away with the austere wartime practicality of clothing and reacted against fabric rations,[1] lengthening hemlines to create a modern, feminine silhouette. His design recalled the pre-war role of women as the heralds of luxury and elegance and was soon worn and popularized by Hollywood actresses like Marilyn Monroe. However, this look was not embraced by all women; some felt that the independence granted them during the war was being curtailed by Dior's restrictive style. The "Little Below the Knee Club" formed to protest long hemlines, which they saw as unnecessarily expensive and reminiscent of an outdated Victorian modesty. Coco Chanel seemed to agree with them, saying, "Dior doesn't dress women; he upholsters them!" [2] Dior died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1957, but the House of Dior continues to be known for its attention to detail, use of luxury fabric, and delicate embroidery. A series of artistic designers have taken leadership of the brand, including Yves Saint Laurent, who maintained Dior's sensibility but with a more youthful touch, and later John Galliano, who was dismissed due to his scandalous campaigns and show themes. The more conservative Raf Simons took control in 2012, but today the first woman at the helm is Maria Grazia Chiuri, who focuses on individualism and expression in her work. She brought back the famous Dior Saddle Bag, targeting millennials in her ad campaigns. It is poignant that the brand should fall into her hands; after years of older men dictating the definition of femininity, she has an opportunity to break apart the narrow cage of Dior's perfect woman and introduce a much-needed playfulness and freedom.[4]

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