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Christian Dior's Biography

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Christian Dior founded his own Paris fashion house in 1945. He became famous for his 'New Look' which hit Paris in 1947.

He was born on 21 January 1905 in Normandy, France and died on 24 October 1957 in Italy.

The book, Paris After the Liberation, provides an insight into Dior and the 'New Look' and has informed much of this biography.

The importance of Christian Dior in the fashion world cannot be overstated. In 1947, with his 'New Look' he transformed the fashion world.

Bettina Ballard described Dior as a "pink-cheeked man with an air of a baby plumpness still about him, and an almost desperate shyness".

Dior had worked for Lucien Lelong's fashion house as a designer and there was an air of anticipation about what his new fashion house might produce.

He was an immediate success and Carmel Snow of Harper's Bazaar said that Dior's dresses have such a new look, and so the phrase was born.

Christian Dior's clothes did not go down well with everybody in that post-war era. Many people were outraged by their extravagance. Nevertheless the New Look represented 75% of France's fashion industry's exports.

Upon Christian Dior's death, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior's assistant of four years, took over as head designer.

The following quote is from 'Dior by Dior':

"The maintenance of the tradition of fashion is in the nature of an act of faith. In a century which attempts to tear the heart out of every mystery, fashion guards its secret well, and is the best possible proof that there is still magic abroad."

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