In 1947, Christian Dior put Paris back in the center of the fashion universe with his "New Look." The new style melded the best of the Belle Epoque with the most advanced styling techniques of the times. Poetic, romantic, and classical,... [more]
In 1947, Christian Dior put Paris back in the center of the fashion universe with his "New Look." The new style melded the best of the Belle Epoque with the most advanced styling techniques of the times. Poetic, romantic, and classical, Dior provided the world with a glamorous, modernized version of the Golden Age.
Dior was the antithesis of Chanel. Where Chanel favored suits and slacks, Dior had a passion for long lines. Where military-inspired styles favored buttons and accessories, Dior's fashions sported pleats, flounces, and the embellishments of times past. The 1947 Dior collection shook the fashion world to its foundations and inspired people to pay attention to the wonders of fashion. Dior's genius is evident in the way he engineered a renaissance of classical styles and ideals. His designs occupied a fantasy realm. Fabric was lavishly and sensually draped around an idealized model of the feminine figure -- a figure that featured a high waist and a firmly molded bust. The new designs hid women's hips in a flare of fabric, but displayed their upper bodies with tightly fitting, form-revealing bodices.
In following years, Dior returned to his original themes. In the 1951 collections -- Dior's personal favorites -- waistlines went higher but the continuous, flowing lines remained. In 1953, the designer introduced a floral motif, incorporating floral patterns and colors into his fabrics to stunning effect. In 1957, he finally began to move away from the cinched waist, instead favoring more relaxed, comfortable waistlines.
The last Dior collection was full of promise; unfortunately, it was a promise that will remain forever unfulfilled. Dior died in 1958, leaving the control of his fashion house in the hands of the tremendously talented Yves Saint Laurent. Saint Laurent worked for years in Dior's house before moving on to establish his own fashion label. Four decades after Dior's death, the Christian Dior label remains synonymous with style, beauty, and class. [show less]