Who was Christian Dior?
Christian Dior was a French fashion designer, best known as the founder of one of the world’s top fashion houses, also called Christian Dior.
On December 16, 1946 Dior founded his fashion house, backed by Marcel Boussac, a cotton-fabric magnate. The actual name of the line of his first collection, presented in early 1947, was Corolle, but the phrase New Look was coined for it by Carmel Snow, the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar. Dior’s designs were more voluptuous and architecturally structured than the boxy, fabric-conserving shapes of the recent World War II styles, influenced by the rations on fabric. He was a master at creating shapes and silhouettes; Dior is quoted as saying “I have designed flower women.” His look employed fabrics lined predominantly with percale, boned, bustier-style bodices, hip padding, wasp-waisted corsets and petticoats that made his dresses flare out from the waist, giving his models a very curvaceous form.
There was some backlash to Dior’s designs due to the amount of fabrics used in a single dress or suit. During one photo shoot in a Paris market, the models were attacked by female vendors over this profligacy, but opposition ceased as the wartime shortages ended. The “New Look” revolutionized women’s dress and reestablished Paris as the center of the fashion world after World War II.
Christian Dior died while on holiday in Montecatini, Italy on October 24, 1957. While it is rumoured that he died of a heart attack, as of 2017, the exact circumstances of Dior’s death remain undisclosed.
What Does the Christian Dior Exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum include?
Explore the brilliance behind Christian Dior’s dramatic creations that revived the Paris haute couture industry after the devastation of the Second World War in ROM’s original exhibition, Christian Dior, presented by Holt Renfrew. Senior Curator, Dr. Alexandra Palmer, draws from the ROM’s extensive collection from the first ten years of Christian Dior haute couture, 1947 to 1957, to offer captivating insights into the creative process and mechanics of the fashion industry in Paris during a pivotal time.
Celebrating the House of Christian Dior’s 70th anniversary, Christian Dior features a selection of breathtaking designs from daytime to evening wear for grand occasions, and explores how and why Christian Dior’s iconic lines, luxury textiles, and romantic embroideries laid the foundation for the global success of the fashion house.
Photos from the Christian Dior Exhibit
Christian Dior runs from November 25, 2017 to March 18, 2018 at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. For more information, visit rom.on.ca.
Have you seen the exhibit? Are you a fan of Christian Dior? Do you find great fashion inspires you to create in other mediums like it does for me? I’d love to know your thoughts on the exhibit and Christian Dior in the comments below.
Rose Lagacé | @artdepartmental