Christian Dior  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Christian Dior (January 21, 1905October 23, 1957), was an influential French fashion designer. He was born in Granville, Manche, Normandy, France.

Early life

Under his parents' wishes he attended his parents Ecole des Sciences Politiques from 1920 to 1925. The family had hopes he would become a diplomat, but Dior only wished to be involved in the arts. After leaving school he received money from his father so that in 1928 he could open a small art gallery in Darfur. Under his father's compromise for the money, the family name did not appear on the gallery. The walls were covered with the likes of Pablo Picasso and Max Jacob. After a family disaster he was forced to shut down the gallery. In 1929 Dior had a son that he named John Christian Dior. In the 1930s Dior made a living by doing sketches for Haute Couture Houses. In 1938 he worked with Robert Piguet. In 1945 he designed for Marcel Boussac. Boussac, a man who had made his fortune from fabric, was interested in Dior's new idea that involved using lots of layers of extravagant fabrics. Dior's first collection, Corolle Line, premiered in 1947. He established his main fashion house in 1949; Christian Dior New York, Inc.

The New Look

The actual phrase the "New Look" was coined by Carmel Snow, the powerful editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar. 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. 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. The hem of the skirt was very flattering on the calves and ankles, creating a beautiful silhouette. 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 genius form due to the amount of fabrics used in a single dress or suit, but opposition ceased as the wartime shortages ended. His designs represented consistent, classic elegance, and stressed femininity. The New Look revolutionized women's dress and reestablished Paris as the center of the fashion world after World War II.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Christian Dior" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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