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House Dior


When it comes to naming a fashion house that is both timeless and the most respectful even nowadays, Dior is the very definition of it.

Christian Dior founded the house of Christian Dior on December 16, 1946, although the house itself considers 1947 to be the year of foundation, as on that year Christian Dior presented his first collection, featuring 90 different looks.

The first Dior fashion show, 1947. Courtesy of Dior.


The first Dior fashion show, 1947. Courtesy of Dior.


Prior to that, Christian Dior used to own a small art gallery, where he and his friends sold work by different artists, including Pablo Picasso. During the Great Depression, in 1929 he was forced to close the art gallery and began working with fashion designer Robert Piguet until he was called up for military service in 1940.

In 1942, he started working for couturier Lucien Long, where he and Pierre Balmain were the primary designers. Several years later, in 1947 Christian Dior presented his debut collection. Named “Corolle” and “Huit”, the lines were quickly named as the “New Look” from Harper’s Bazaar US magazine editor, Carmen Snow. His creations received some criticism at the very beginning, but soon famous people like Rita Hayworth and Margot Fonteyn bought many pieces from Dior, which led to a new successful chapter for the fashion house.

The Bar Suit, “Corelle” Collection, 1947. Photo by Willy Maywald.


The “New Look” collection, 1947


Christian Dior with model Sylvie, circa 1948.
Courtesy of Christian Dior


The designer was also invited to stage a private presentation of the collection for the British royal family, although it is reported that King George V forbade the young princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, from wearing the New Look as it could be considered as a bad example, given that rationing was still in force at the time.

In 1948, Dior launched Dior Parfums with Miss Dior becoming its first fragrance. He named the fragrance Miss Dior as a tribute to his sister, who was imprisoned at a Nazi concentration camp for joining the French Resistance. In 1949 he launched Diorama.

Invitation to the launch of Miss Dior perfume at the Avenue 30 Montaigne store in Paris on October 17th, 1947.


The first-ever Miss Dior bottle, initially available to purchase on December 1, 1947.


The Turquie dress, Fall 1951. Photo by Cecil Beaton


Christian Dior and model Simone wearing the Miss Dior dress, Spring 1949


Christian Dior and model Renée, 1957. Photo by Henry Clarke


Mozart dress, Spring 1950. Photo by Norman Parkinson


In 1955, Yves Saint Laurent became Dior’s design assistant, at the age of 19. In 1957, during a meeting between Yves Saint Laurent’s mother and Christian Dior, the latter confessed that he had chosen Yves Saint Laurent to succeed him at Dior. Shortly after the meeting, Dior suffered a heart attack.

Yves Saint Laurent at House Dior


1958 – Svetlana in velvet evening gown and opera-length gloves by Yves Saint Laurent for Dior, photo Willy Maywald,


Christian Dior Yves Saint Laurent 1958 Collection


Saint Laurent became the creative director until he had to join the army, and was replaced by Marc Bohan. Bohan proved to be the right choice because he presented a new modern look, the Slim Look.

Gianfranco Ferre became the creative director of Christian Dior in 1989, replacing Marc Bohan. He remained in this position until 1997.

Gianfranco Ferre Dior Haute Couture Spring Summer 96 Show in France


Shalom Harlow in Christian Dior Fall Winter 1989 Haute Couture collection by Gianfranco Ferre


In 1997, British designer John Galliano was appointed creative director until March 2011, when he was dismissed for making anti-Semitic remarks in public. During his time with the fashion house, Galliano presented many outstanding designs which are still remembered nowadays.

Jacket from the Ko-Ko-San silhouette, Spring 2007. Photo by Patrick Dermachelier


Dior SS97 Couture Collection Designed By John Galliano, Paris Fashion Week, 1997
© Ken Towner/Evening Standard/REX/Shutterstock


John Galliano for Christian Dior Spring 2007 Haute Couture


Bill Gaytten was made creative director until April 9th, 2012 when it was announced that Raf Simons had taken over.

Bill Gaytten for Dior Fall 2011 Couture


Bill Gaytten for Dior Spring 2012


Dior Haute Couture under Raf Simons – Fall Winter 2012-2013


Raf Simons’ Dior 2015 Spring Couture show

In 2016, Maria Grazia Chiuri was announced as the new creative director of house Dior, which made her the first woman to take the position.

Model on the catwalk Christian Dior show, Spring Summer 2017, Paris Fashion Week, France – 30 Sep 2016


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