Christian Dior is a French fashion designer known for his New look . It restores corsets and splendor in women’s clothing in the difficult years after World War II.
He was born on January 21, 1905. in the small coastal town of Grenville in Normandy, northwestern France. Christian is the second of five children of a wealthy fertilizer manufacturer. He was only five years old when the family left the idyllic pink house, which will forever remain in his memories, and pink will be one of his favorite colors, and moved to Paris.
His parents hoped he would become a diplomat, but Christian discovered his artistic talents and began drawing sketches, which he successfully sold. He even went so far as to finance his father’s purchase of a small gallery, where he and his associates sold works by authors including Picasso, Mathis and Braque. The condition is that the Dior surname does not appear in its name.
The gallery quickly closed its doors due to the many misfortunes that life faced in a short period of time. Among them are the Great Depression of 1929, the deaths of his mother and brother, and the bankruptcy of his father’s business.
He later worked with fashion designer Pige until he was drafted into the army. He completed his military service in 1942 and was not sent to the front. Then he became part of the team of designer Lelong together with Pierre Balmain, who will also gain considerable popularity in the future. The fashion house they work for did not stop functioning during the occupation and dressed the women of the Nazi officers. So does Coco Chanel, who even has an affair with a fascist.
His sister boasts stronger morals and joins the Resistance, for which she is sent to a concentration camp. Christian remains strongly attached to her throughout his life and even dedicated his first perfume Miss Dior to her. It became one of the best-selling in history.
Establishment of Dior fashion house
The official year of the founding of the fashion house Dior is considered to be 1947, when its first collection was published.
Carmel Snow, editor of Harper’s Bazaar , is embracing New Look because she is too innovative for her time. This new look consists of a lush skirt reaching to the calf, which costs at least 15 meters of fabric, forgotten during the war and extremely uncomfortable corset, and a large bust, typical of past eras.
Many people are shocked by the luxury and the huge amount of expensive fabrics that Dior uses for his creations, so much so that they attack and pull the clothes of the women who wear them.
The sumptuous outfits contradict the gloomy mood of Parisians due to the deprivations after the war, but Dior is actively involved in restoring the old splendor of the French capital.
In America, less affected by the war, Christian Dior finds loyal fans in the face of Hollywood greats such as Rita Hayward, Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner and Margo Fontaine . However, he reluctantly accepted his job in Hollywood productions.
Ideological opponents with Coco Chanel
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel is a contemporary of Christian Dior and the two are rivals and have almost opposite views on what a woman should look like in the post-war years.
Chanel uses much less fabric and is often rough and typical of men’s wardrobe, such as the jersey. Dior, on the other hand, is extremely extravagant. His clothes have an extremely complex construction and make it difficult to move.
Coco draws inspiration from the men’s wardrobe. Its goal is to make women feel comfortable in their clothes and lead an active lifestyle.
Dior puts back the corset, which is sewn. His creations are lavish and feminine. He sincerely wishes the joy of life to return and the smile to shine again on the faces of the Paris-tormented Parisian women.
It so happens that the two conflicting philosophies coexist for a long time and many women have in their wardrobe clothes, a creation of both designers.