Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dior, the talent

While I can barely do him justice, especially in such a short post, I would like to just talk briefly about Christian Dior as I'm currently reading his autobiography from 1957. Dior believed that accessories MADE the outfit. After coming up with the initial sketches of a dress, he would then go on to chose the accessories right away, even before seeing the finalized dress! He worked with Roger Vivier often for shoes, such as this cheetah printed silk show above. Notice the beautiful details such as the rhinestone button and beautiful catch.
This is a detail photograph from 1954 of his dress called ' Moulin Rouge'. He wrote that he wanted to make women happy and gave his dresses fun, exotic and happy names.
This sketch by Gruau shows Ispahan from 1947 for the magazine 'Adam'. From the start of the Dior salon, it was a huge success. He wrote that after 1 year of business, it was such an established brand that he would hear people talking about it as if it had been around since the turn of the century! All he ever wanted was a tiny, small exclusive salon -he never expected or wanted all of the publicity and growth of his company.
Entry to the boutique. Housed in a grand but sedate mansion /townhouse at 30 Avenue Montaigne - he wanted it to be a simple take on tradition ala the style of 1910: Everything in shades of gray and white.
Cachotier from 1951 - I love this very architectural dress with the ruched gloves. It must be so uncomfortable though!
A dress from Fall / Winter 1954 -this shows the finished product on the right and the process on the left. Primarily known for his evening gowns, Dior was in the group of the moneyed classes who were throwing grand balls after WWII to forget the horrors and atrocities they witnessed -society wanted fun! Dior provided the dresses.
An ad from 1960 for shoes by Vivier for Dior. Drawn by Gruau of course.
Dior made the cover of Time magazine in 1957 -the year of his autobiographyThe models of the house of Dior from 1957. I love the model with alabaster skin and red lips in the black dress! So chic. Her name was Lucky! A sketch by Dior for the 1951 collections. Such expressive lines, evocative of Gruau.
All images from the book 'Dior' by Universe of Fashion by Marie-France Pochna; forward by Grace Mirabella. You can find this great little book online HERE very inexpensively used.

10 comments:

chintz-of-darkness said...

Truly an inspiration! We LOVE the pictorial that you selected. (Also, thanks so much for the link to the book.)

Seraph + Splendor

meems said...

it sounds really fascinating. i love all the illustrations! must buy the autobiography

pve design said...

Dior has always been an inspiration in the art of couture, elegance and style. Wonderful post.
Names like "Lucky" - "Happy" are just so part of that era.

R.J. Gilmour said...

Be the change...
Thanks for the brief intro to Dior, I have been admirer for longer than I wish to admit...and I absolutely adore Gruau and his illustrations...a real master of the art...

Be the change..... said...

CoD, the book is small but really jam packed with info and pics. It's a part of a series of small books by Universe of Fashion by different designers. I have a small collection of them.
PVE, I wasn't familiar with these short names and always assumed they were sort of 'adopted' names. I love them!
Meems & RJ, I think you both would enjoy the autobiography! Check out your local library!!

Kwana said...

Thanks so much for this. What a genius. The shapes alone take my breath away. I so want to read the book now.

Katee said...

Ohhhh I love all of those vintage photos! They are so glamorous.

Be the change..... said...

The book is really well written (translated I assume) and interesting to see the process that goes into Haute Couture, Kwana.

Pure unadultered glamour, Katee!

Janet said...

Ahhh, j'adore Dior! Awesome post. Thanks also for adding me to the blogroll ~ I am honored!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I always wear his perfume, even though now, I have to order it from Paris.