When Christian Dior opened his couture house in October 1946, he was 41 years old and had already accumulated a wealth of experience. After a sheltered upbringing in Granville, Normandy, he opened an art gallery in Paris, then trained as a dress designer at Lucien Lelong. These experiences shaped his culture and honed his tastes. In a post-war context of deprivation and rationing, Dior had just one obsession: to allow women to rediscover joy, elegance and beauty. In only ten years, from 1947 to 1957, Christian Dior revolutionized the conventions of elegance and femininity, designing collections infused with dreams and enchantment. The man who set out to be an architect offered women his vision of beauty through elegant lines, his name eventually becoming synonymous with French luxury all around the world.
It is 12 February 1947 and Christian Dior is at his townhouse, 30 avenue Montaigne in Paris, to present his first collection and all eyes are turned to the Bar jacket, a timeless sculpture that appears to be molded to the woman's body. It is given a new look season after season, a central element in his Dior wardrobe.
From his first show, Christian Dior designed his collections like painstakingly structured and intelligently thought-out buildings. As well as his childhood, he had many other influences: flowers, colors and art all helped, in their own way, to build a legacy that the House of Dior upholds, and its artistic directors reinterpret today, in order to preserve this timeless and inimitable attitude.
The heart of Dior still beats in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, at 30 avenue Montaigne, where it all began. This legendary address fascinated Christian Dior well before he became a fashion designer: “I will set up here and nowhere else!” – he once said to his friend Pierre Colle. And this dream was finally realized on 8 October 1946, when he opened his House there. The townhouse was the ideal size and perfectly reflected the spirit of the designer: molding on the walls, gray tones, medallion chairs, brightly-colored bouquets scattered here and there, and Louis XVI neoclassical furniture. This wonderful location was the perfect backdrop for his collection. These stylings are repeated today in boutiques around the world, where modernity mingles with history. In their loft location at 30 avenue Montaigne, the haute couture workshops are the soul of the House of Dior. Here, time seems to stand still as skilled seamstresses – the celebrated “Petites Mains” – execute exceptional savoir-faire, carrying on closely-guarded secrets.
- 6,280 Employees in France and around the world
- 205 Boutiques around the world
- 8 Christian Dior's lucky number
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