Christian Dior: Fashion Designer

Christian Dior is widely known as an influential French fashion designer who was born on January 21, 1905 in Normandy, France. He was the son of Maurice Dior and Madeleine Martin. Dior’s father was a manufacturer of fertilizer and chemicals. Dior had an elder brother named Raymond.

Dior attended the Ecole de Sciences Politiques from 1920 to 1925 to follow his parents wishes of him becoming a diplomat someday. But Dior already had other plans since he wished to be involved only in the arts. When Dior left school, he opened a small art gallery from the money that his father gave him. He began to sell artworks by the likes of Pablo Picasso. Then disaster stuck the Dior family that led to the loss of the family business. This forced the young Dior to close down his small art shop.

In the 1930’s Dior started earning a living by doing sketches for a number of haute couture houses in France. Sometime in 1938 he collaborated with Robert Piguet. Dior later on joined the Lucien LeLong fashion house where he became the primary designer along with Pierre Balmain. By 1945, Dior decided to start his own fashion design business with the backing of cotton fabric magnate Marcel Boussac. Dior’s fashion house eventually opened in late 1946. By February of the following year, he was able to come out with his first fashion collection, which was more popularly known as the New Look.

In his first collection, Dior displayed more voluptuous designs rather than the usual fabric conserving designs that were prevailing during that time which was influenced by frequent rations on fabric during the world war. Dior became a master of designing with shapes and creating silhouettes. Most of his designs make use of boned bustier-style bodices, corsets and petticoats that made the dresses to flare out from the waist to give the wearer a more curvaceous form.

At first the New Look was looked upon negatively since most of Dior’s designs made use of quite a lot of fabric that people then were not used to due to the rationing of fabrics. But opposition to this new style slowly began to fade as shortages of fabric supplies that was brought by the war began to lessen. The new style that Dior introduced eventually revolutionized women’s fashion and eventually helped in reestablishing Paris as the world’s fashion center after the war.

By the 1950’s, Dior has become synonymous with women’s fashion. In 1957, the influential fashion designer appeared on the cover of Time magazine, pictured with his trademark left hand scissors. But just as he was enjoying the height of his fame as a fashion designer, Christian Dior died suddenly of a heart attack while vacationing at a spa town of Montecatini in Italy in October of 1957.

But even after his death, the fashion house that he built continued on and became a place where other notable designers were able to make a name for themselves and establish themselves as premier haute couture representatives. Currently, the House of Dior operates a number of boutiques in almost all the major cities all over the world that provides an interesting high fashion collection that has come to cover a broader range of products.


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