Cinched waistlines, full skirts and fitted jackets became quintessential Dior as the unique silhouettes helped revolutionize a woman’s wardrobe in a post-war era, marking Dior’s first designs as the famous “New Look” in fashion during the 1940s.
After serving his military duties in 1942, Frenchman Christian Dior returned to Paris to do what he did best – create, design and, most importantly, make women feel and look beautiful. Before becoming a household name, he worked as an illustrator for a Parisian newspaper and fashion magazine and sold sketches to couture houses like Schiaparelli and Balenciaga.
The designer opened the doors to the first Christian Dior Couture House in 1946 at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris with just three ateliers and a staff of 85 people. That February, the brand successfully launched its first Spring-Summer Collection which earned the title, “New Look” by then Harper’s Bazar Editor-In-Chief Carmel Snow. The collection consisted of 90 pieces that helped breathe life back into the City of Love and return Paris to its former glory as the fashion capital of the world.
In just five short years, the brand welcomed exponential global growth – a team of 900 gained recognizable attention from the English Royal Family, launched multiple fragrances, opened boutiques worldwide, and 19-year-old Yves Saint Laurent joined as design assistant and future successor. Leading the couture house for just 10 years, Christian Dior suffered a fatal heart attack in 1957, leaving the company in Saint Laurent’s lap.
Through the years, a notable group of creative directors have led the house. In 2017, Maria Grazia Chiuri became the first female creative director. Studying fashion in Rome, Chiuri built a storied career with Fendi and Valentino before igniting a fresh perspective on Dior’s creative past with today’s modern designs. The once highly sought after Dior Saddle Bag made its return to the runway in the Autumn-Winter 2018-2019 ready-to-wear-collection and attracted an instant cult following as it originally did during its debut.
Spring 2019 has proven to be an exciting time for the in-demand fashion house. The Dallas Museum of Art welcomed the exclusive exhibit Dior: From Paris to the World this May, highlighting designs from all the famed artistic directors of the brand. Prepare for jaw-dropping displays of over 100 haute couture dresses, accessories, archived sketches and, most notably, 15 thematic spaces that highlight the creations from Dior’s “New Look” to Chirui’s latest couture collection.*
Chiuri welcomes fall with two simultaneous collections that are already drawing industry praise. The new Pre-Fall 19 Collection revisits the emblematic forms of the Dior heritage by using craft techniques to shape new codes. Chiuri celebrates female talents as she explores new production techniques with a mix of colors, materials and embroidery.
The 30 Montaigne Collection pays homage to place through the House’s Paris address and features a number of pieces that pay tribute to iconic Dior looks such as a pleated skirt and the Bar jacket as well as the use of houndstooth. The new 30 Montaigne bag is inspired by the House’s more recent history and exemplifying this sense of creative renewal with customizable metal clasps. The collection is the perfect marriage of timeless and contemporary with designs that are classically Dior reinvented with a modern twist, and will be available as an evergreen capsule of Dior staples.
To learn more and shop the latest ready-to-wear collection and accessories, visit the boutique Monday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 5 p.m.
12 Highland Park Village, Dallas, Texas 75205, 214.520.6494.
*Dior: From Paris to the World is on display at the Dallas Museum of Art now through September 1, 2019.