Christian Dior

Christian Dior

Born in Granville, a commune in France, Christian Dior was the epitome of excellence in fashion design. It will be strange to imagine anybody from the fashion world not knowing who this great personality was and what contributions he made. Dior is remembered to date for his exemplary aesthetic sense. His work is thoroughly researched upon and often taken as inspiration by the several designers who came after him.  At the time he lived, he was a highly acclaimed fashion designer of France.

Dior belonged to a family of five children; his father was a wealthy businessman. At the age of five, although his parents along with all their kids settled in Paris, the family frequently visited the Normandy cost for vacations. Dior’s parents wanted their son to to become a diplomat when he grow up, however the young boy had a creative flair and desired to be involved in artistic activities. Less do people know, Dior was a homosexual but he never exposed himself as one. As he grew up, Dior traded his sketches to people outside his home for ten cents each. This was how he initially began to represent his arty side. Seeing the response and the talent his son had, Dior’s father let him leave school and gave money to open a small gallery to display artworks by Dior and his friend. Unfortunately, three years later the place had to be closed since Dior’s mother and a brother died, as well as the family business suffered great loss due to the Great Depression.

In order to not stop the flow of his creativity, Dior worked with Robert Piguet until 1940 and then went to serve the military. In 1942, when his term in the army was over, Christian Dior joined Lucien Lelong’s fashion house. During the second world war when the Nazis were in power, Dior designed dresses the wives of French collaborators and Nazi officials. The reason for doing this was to preserve the country’s fashion industry during political, social and economic upheaval. Other labels, such as Jeanne Lanvin, Jean Patou and Nina Ricci, also participated in the cause.

On the other hand, Dior’s sister who was among the members of the French Resistance, was imprisoned by Gestapo into the Ravensbrück concentration camp but liberated in May, 1945. It was rather paradoxical that one sibling served the Nazis and the other was incarcerated by them.

Anyhow, once the war was over, Christian Dior had the chance to flourish his career. In 1946, he founded his label under his name. The fashion house was supported by Marcel Boussac, a fabric mogul. Right after the war, styles were material-conversing and there was no innovation or out of the box approach. At this time, Dior became the hope of the industry, since he introduced voluptuous designs. He became the master of silhouettes and shapes. His dress designs broke the barrier of rigidness and flares came into existence – giving women the perfect feminine and curvaceous look.

His designs were initially criticized for two main reasons: his dress patterns required a lot of fabric and the apparel he made covered the legs of women who were used to wearing less cloth on the body. Otherwise, once the war shortages were revived, people realized the fact that he revolutionized the fashion industry with his ideas.

The designer died in 1957 in Italy while on a vacation. Countless theories spurred the media regarding his death and the reason was that he died from a heart attack.