Thursday, February 12, 2009

Christian Dior

It was 12 February, 1947 - exactly 62 years ago, that a certain Mr. Christian Dior gathered an intimate group in the salon of 30 Avenue Montagne in Paris to unveil his very first collection. The group sat in exquisite gold gilded chairs with a very interesting Louis XVI pattern, which would come to be known as the Canage print so indicative of the House of Dior. His collection was dubbed "The New Look" - the World War had just ended, and Mr. Dior's excessive use of fabrics, especially leathers, metals, and yards and yards of luxurious silks, linens, and cottons, was all a far cry from the previously rationed materials. Soft shoulders, cinched waists, and long, flowing skirts dotted the collection.

Christian officially put Paris on the fashion map. Soon after his collection was viewed, people worldwide were knocking on his door for the latest, greatest fashions. Old world glamour. Like when people would dress up to fly on an airplane. Or when men didn't just rent tuxedos, but actually had one customized. And when men didn't dare enter the Oval Office without a jacket and tie.

With four other designers at the helm (all great - Yves St. Laurent, Mark Bohan, Gianfranco Ferre, and of course, John Galliano), the collections have been incredibly different over the years. But your specially detailed codes - from the bow, the Lily of the Valley, the excessive fabrics and buttons, and of course, the infamous saddle shape, have all remained.

Here's to you, Christian Dior. Thanks for 62 great years of fashion. And here's to at least 62 more great years!

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