Christian Dior - a revolution in the fashion world

Today is the birthday of the great designer, whose muse was the woman of the Great Steppe, Alla Ilchun. Christian Dior considered her his talisman, bringing good luck. They have been working with the Oriental Pearl for 11 years. The outfits created during this time still delight fashion connoisseurs to this day.



Christian Dior – the famous couturier and founder of the fashion house of the same name, was born on January 21st, 1905, in Granville. He is the second child of Alexandre Louis Maurice Dior and Marie-Madeleine Juliette Martin.

In 1911 the Dior family moved to Paris. Although Christian was very unhappy with this decision, he had to put up with the situation around him. A year later, Christian's father and uncle, Maurice and Lucien Dior, founded the brand Dior Fils & Cie ("Dior sons & Co"). And this brought them financial success.

But the future designer wasn’t at all interested in his father's affairs. Strong-smelling plants evoked negative emotions in him. Then he decided he would never connect his life with machines and offices. Therefore, he absorbs the best qualities of his mother: calmness, confidence, and love for aesthetics.

A special place in the development of his work is occupied by his maternal grandmother, Madame Juliette Martin. She immediately notices that Christian is different from the rest of the grandchildren. She sees how he looks forward to every carnival and how delighted he is with the costumes of the guests, the thunder of the orchestras, and the floral works of art. But most of all, the future couturier is fascinated by the independent production of costumes. Not only he invents new outfits, but also depicts them on paper.

Christian is completely immersed in costume making. His grandmother helps a lot and agrees to sew several outfits according to the sketches of the young creator. Thus, his first atelier opens on the fourth floor of the house. Everything created there was necessarily evaluated by Juliette, who closely followed the work of her beloved grandson. Later, Christian entered the Free School of Political Science, but his diplomatic activities, of course, did not continue. After all, he was drawn to the world of fashion.

In 1928, Christian opens his art gallery with Jean Benjac, his close friend. They exhibited there the works of Andre Derain, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso. But after Christian's mother dies of cancer, the situation worsened. The father's enterprise is in decline, and there is no more finance to support the gallery.

However, this crisis was followed by the success of his life. After the art gallery went bust, he began selling sketches to Parisian fashion houses. He also illustrated the pages of Le Figaro magazine. As a result of these efforts, his talent was noticed by the textile magnate Marcel Boussac, who financed Christian Dior's own fashion house. He bought the building on rue Montaigne and helped set up the workshop in 1946.

The first Christian Dior collection came out in 1947. Dior created the image of an "ideal woman", elegant and mysterious: from now on, puffy skirts and wasp waists are held in high esteem. He returned to the ladies the desire to please, taught to draw attention to their beauty. Critics even scolded him for his wasteful use of materials. However, discontent did not prevent the expansion of the fashion empire. In 1948, the company's boutique appears in New York. A year later, Christian licenses accessories, furs, and bags under his name. The Dior brand was de jure owned by investor Marcel Boussac, and the couturier himself was only an employee throughout his career in the fashion house.

In 1957, his death shocked the fashion world. He died of a heart attack at the age of 52. Dior's 21-year-old assistant stayed to "save the fashion world." Yves Saint Laurent became the youngest couturier in the history of fashion. He was nicknamed "the little prince of fashion". Yves had to prepare the first show under the name of Christian Dior in a couple of months. It is said that he painted the entire collection in just 15 days. The show ran on January 30th, 1958. Since that day, many designers have led the brand. And each of them left his handwriting in the history of the fashion house.

In July 2016, the Italian Maria Grazia Chiuri became the head. She is the first woman to serve as a creative director of Dior. In parallel with the women's line, the fashion house also has a men's line. Since March 2018, it has been led by Kim Jones.

Christian Dior himself said of his success: “First of all, I wanted to present a perfect work. I did not intend to revolutionize fashion, I wanted to scrupulously bring to life my creative ideas.

We present to your attention a selection of films about Christian Dior:

1. "Monsieur Dior" (1994);

2. “Christian Dior. Legend Man (2005);

3. "Dior and me" (2014);

4. Christian Dior, la France (2017);

5. Inside Dior (2017).


Author: Moldir Adamzhan

Translator-editor: Chingiz Smakov

Photos: archives of press services

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