Christian Dior presented his first collection to a bleak, post-war Paris in 1947. It caused a sensation. The dazzling clothes, cut to emphasize the female form and made out of seemingly endless metres of luxurious embroidered and beaded cloth, were revolutionary. Dior's collection was pronounced "The New Look" and made him a star. This illustrated book is based entirely on documents and photographs from the first decade of the House of Dior, a time when Dior himself supervized every detail of his enterprise, and created a team of devoted collaborators and a large atelier of adoring seamstresses. He not only drew every dress himself but also fitted most of his clients, among whom were Marlene Dietrich, Ingrid Bergman and the Duchess of Windsor. Until his early death in 1957, the modest and unassuming Dior was adored by everybody whose life he touched. This book celebrates the glorious days when haute couture was about elegance rather than rank sensationalism.
Esmeralda de Rethy is a renowned French journalist. Jean-Louis Perreau is a fashion historian and researcher living in Paris.