Christian Dior was born in Normandy, France, in 1905. His career path originally began with selling fashion sketches to newspapers until 1938 when he joined Robert Pignet and in 1942 moved to Lelong where he worked alongside Balmain. During the war he served in the south of France, then returned again to Paris in 1941 and continued to work for Lelong until he opened his own fashion house backed by textile manufacturer Marcel Boussac.
Christian Dior was creative and innovative and wanted to develop his own style to take women into an entirely new direction. This he did with his first collection in 1947 when he created the extremely popular “New Look”. After the austerity of the war years women embraced the new features of rounded shoulders, a cinched waist, and a very full skirt. This “New Look” helped to establish Paris as the new capital of world fashion. From here on Dior became the dictator of style in the 1950’s. Each collection produced a new theme which women loved and followed – classic suits, ballerina length skirts, the H line in 1954 and A and Y lines in 1955.
From 1948 he had increased his lines to include furs, socks, ties, perfumes and jewellery and his products became known globally. In 1953 he hired a young Yves Saint Laurent as an assistant. After Dior’s death in October 1957 in Italy, Saint Laurent became head designer.
It is possible that Dior is the most widely recognized brand in top fashion to date. The gorgeous vintage costume jewellery continues to be highly collectable today along with the new ranges.