j'adore dior

have you ever had your fortune told? in some parts of the world, fortune-telling is considered a sin…against the law even. this didn't stop christian dior from having his fortune told by a wise reader who urged him to accept an offer that launched the house of dior in 1946.

the war had ended the year before, so clothes were still scarce. women wore square-shouldered suits that had likely been mended once or twice. they wanted to feel young and beautiful again.

now imagine nipped waists, full skirts and yards and yards of fabric and frothy tulle embroidered with lace, sequin and rhinestones. a stark contrast to the horrors of the occupation that restricted the amount of fabric to less than 3 yards for a dress.

 "bar" suit, 1947

"aladin" dinner dress, 1947
left: belted; right: unbelted

"venus" ball gown, 1949

"junon" ball gown, 1949
19th century made modern with a strapless neckline

above: "priscilla" evening dress, 1954; below: details of the underpinnings

left: "nuit de reve" evening dress, 1954; right: a completely finished underdress in identical fabric

above: "compiegne" ball gown, 1954; below: detail

 "chambord" ball gown, 1954

rather suddenly, dior died ten years later. what he achieved in this short time is an amazing feat given the brevity that coincided with one of humanity's grimmest points in history.

the pink and grey house he grew up in is now a museum in granville, france.

image credits–1: world of interiors, july 2000; 2: fashion-era; 3-15: christian dior by richard martin and harold koda; 16: shelterpop



The Chambord and junon ball gowns are my favorites. The junon reminds me of a flower with petals covered in soot. And the nude gloves that the mannequin is wearing...I really appreciate that they're nude rather than black. Lauren

lush bella said...

lauren, your description of the junon is perfect. this too is my favorite. oh, but then there's venus…and i love the ombre effect of chambord.

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