A brand established in 1947 by a man that wanted to evolve women’s fashion.
Christian Dior decided to follow his dream of designing a whole evolution for women’s clothing post war; he presented a 90-piece collection to magazine editors in his Parisian Townhouse and named it the ‘New Look’.
Dior created his first collection around the movement from post war rationing and focused on structured silhouettes with full bodied skirts and defined waists, even with dresses that had on average 20 yards of fabric; a big contrast compared to the restraint that had been experienced during the war.
Due to Dior’s extravagance in his designs, he became an overnight success and became a huge contributor to the female empowerment movement in the fashion industry.
“I wanted my dresses to be ‘constructed’, molded on the curves of the female body whose contours they would stylize. I accentuated the waist, the volume of the hips, I emphasized the bust. In order to give my designs more hold, I had nearly all the fabrics lined with percale or taffeta, a tradition that had long been abandoned.”
– Christian Dior
The completely fresh approach to dressing the female figure was influenced by Christian Dior’s original career plan of becoming an architect, to which he has been quoted “I wanted to be an architect. Being a couturier meant that I still needed to abide by the rules of architecture.” The attention to detail in the tailoring of his designs, portrayed Dior’s determination to work with a woman’s body and accentuate its shape.
Christian Dior sadly passed away in 1957 from a heart attack, however had already left an incredible legacy within his brand. Not only did he help shape a new way for women to dress, but also became the first French couturier to make the cover of Time Magazine.
Due to Dior’s determination to create a brand that had longevity in the world of couture fashion, his 21-year-old assistant, Yves Saint Laurent, was able to take over from Dior’s vision and change the course of its designs, however this was short lived. After Saint Laurent had been called to war in 1960, his oversized silhouettes left with him, and Marc Bohan quickly stepped in to restore Dior’s original vision and began designing for the woman’s curves again.
From the late 60’s to mid-70’s the brand took off!
International stores were opened, and ready-to-wear collections were in extremely high demand. Bohan’s time running the business, took it from small Parisian couture to an international powerhouse and amplified the legacy that Dior himself dreamed of achieving.
In 1989 the new stylist director, Gianfranco Ferré, spent his time at the top creating a new part of the brand that was solely dedicated to its ready-to-wear and couture clothing, naming it Christian Dior Couture.
In 1996, John Galliano took over and made sure to saturate the headlines by dressing the style icon of the era, Princess Diana. Galliano became known for dressing A-listers and designing pieces that celebrities were desperate to get their hands on. However, his designs contrasted massively compared to Dior’s original vision, as he focused more on an artistic approach than wearability. Galliano’s less than gracious exit of the company after controversial video footage was leaked of him making anti-Semitic comments meant the brand was left needing a refresh, which Raf Simons was happy to give.
Simons decided to refer to the original understated designs of Christian Dior and put the artistic flare into the actual runway shows rather than the clothing. Pieces became wearable again and the celebrity interest of the designs kept on growing. By 2016 Raf Simons left the brand after much success, and a whole new era was about to begin.
Maria Grazia Chiuri, the former Valentino co-creative director, was made the first woman to head the Dior empire and is still in charge to this day. In her first collection she featured the iconic ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ t-shirt and has brought modern streetwear to this classic fashion house. Chiuri has brought Dior full circle by focusing on the original message of female empowerment but complimenting the modern woman, her shapes are reminiscent of the first ever collection, focusing on the structure of the female form yet adding t-shirts and prints to bring it forward to the 21st century.
Dior’s consistent dedication to the empowerment of women makes it a brand that here at Timeless Vintage we are extremely proud to stock. The heritage and thought behind every piece means buying pre-loved is still as special as buying it straight from a store.
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