Christian Dior — The “New Look” Revolutionary
Christian Dior is a French luxury fashion brand founded in 1946 by Christian Dior. The company has expanded from its beginnings to produce leather goods, ready-to-wear, accessories, footwear, jewelry, timepieces, fragrance, make-up, skincare products and haute-couture. Divisions of the company include: Christian Dior Parfums, Christian Dior Cosmetics, and Dior Homme.
In 1947, Dior launched the first fashion collection for the company, featuring two lines, called “Corolle” and “Huit”. In the fashion world, this show was referred to as the “New Look” and it forever changed fashion. The emergence of the Dior brand allowed Paris to recapture its claim as the fashion capital of the world.
Around the same time, Dior launched Christian Dior Parfums, with its first perfume, Miss Dior. Pierre Cardin was made head of the Dior workshop around this time as well. In 1949, The “Diorama” perfume is launched.
In 1950, the Dior brand’s general manager, Jacques Rouët, instituted a licensing program that applied the Dior brand name to hosiery, furs, neckties, hats, gloves, handbags, jewelry, scarves, and lingerie. At the time, there was some resistance to a haute-couture brand divesting in these other ventures, but it soon became the standard of all haute-couture brands.
The first Dior shoe line was launched in 1953, with the help of Roger Vivier. The first Dior boutique was opened in 1949. In 1955, Dior lipstick was launched.
In 1957, Christian Dior died of a heart attack. The company nearly closed, but then announced the 21 year old Yves Saint-Laurent as Artistic Director, who changed the styles to be softer, lighter, and easier to wear.
In 1960, Yves Saint-Laurent launched the Beat Look, and after being called up by the army, and after six collections, Laurent left the company.
Marc Bohan became head of Dior next, and took Dior to a more conservative style. Dior released the perfume “Diorling” in 1963, and the corresponding men’s fragrance, “Eau Sauvage” was released in 1966.
In 1968, The Christian Dior Coordinated Knit line was released, and in the same year the Dior Parfums line was sold to Moët-Hennessy. In 1969, Christian Dior Cosmetics was launched.
In 1972, the “Diorella” perfume was launched, and in 1972 the Christian Dior Ready-To-Wear Fur Collection was created. The first timepiece “Black Moon” was launched in 1975. The perfume “Dioressence” was released in 1979.
In 1980, Dior launched its men’s fragrance “Jules”, and in 1985 “Poison” was launched. In 1991, the perfume “Dune” was created. In 1995 the “La Parisienne” watch was released. In 1999, the perfume J’Adore was released. John Galliano became the head designer in 1997.
In 2000, Hedi Slimane became the head of Dior Homme. The men’s fragrance, “Higher” was released in 2001, and soon after the perfume “Addict” was launched in 2002. The “Miss Dior Chérie” perfume and the “Dior Homme” fragrance were released in 2005.
Kris Van Assche was named the new artistic head of Dior Homme in 2007. Galliano was fired in 2011 after making anti-Semitic remarks. The company appointed Bill Gaytten was implemented in the short term, with Raf Simons being announced as the new artistic designer in 2012.
The Christian Dior Story:
Christian Dior Quotes:
“I wanted to be considered a good craftsman. I wanted my dresses to be constructed like buildings, molded to the curves of the female form, stylizing its shape.”
“Finally, everything that has been part of my life, whether I wanted it to or not, has expressed itself in my dresses.”
“Deep in every heart slumbers a dream, and the couturier knows it: every woman is a princess.”
“In a machine age, dressmaking is one of the last refuges of the human, the personal, the inimitable.”
“Bright reds — scarlet, pillar-box red, crimson or cherry — are very cheerful and youthful. There is certainly a red for everyone.”
“White is pure and simple and matches with everything.”
“A dress is a piece of ephemeral architecture, designed to enhance the proportions of the female body.”
“Women, with their sure instincts, realized that my intention was to make them not just more beautiful but also happier.”
“Colour is what gives jewels their worth. They light up and enhance the face. Nothing is more elegant than a black skirt and sweater worn with a sparkling multi-stoned necklace.”
“Haute couture is like an orchestra, for which only Balenciaga is the conductor. The rest of us are just musicians, following the directions he gives us.”