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Christian Dior

Designer of Dreams

Florence Müller


A magnificent showcase of one of France’s greatest couture houses, published to accompany a major exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, and a core part of the blockbuster retrospective at the V&A.

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2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the House of Dior. It was in 1947 that Christian Dior presented his first collection and heralded the birth of a new fashion silhouette for women. After the austerity of the war years, the cinched waistlines, full skirts and soft shoulders of the New Look came to embody a revival of Parisian luxury. Paris regained its place as the global capital of fashion and the name of Dior became a synonym for haute couture.

For this book, seventy of the most memorable looks created Christian Dior and his successors – Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri – have been specially selected and photographed in fascinating detail. These wonderful designs are also featured in sketches, runway shots and fashion shoots by the world’s greatest fashion photographers, including Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, William Klein, Helmut Newton, Patrick Demarchelier, Paolo Roversi, Peter Lindbergh, Mario Testino and Nick Knight.

Recurring themes from the history of Dior are discussed in depth: the concept of line and architecture in fashion; the influence of history and art (the Palace of Versailles, the Empire style, Impressionism, the Belle Époque, the Ballets Russes, Picasso, Dalí, Pollock); the use of colour; the influence of gardens and landscapes as sources of inspiration; and, of course, the brand’s muses and famous clients: the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Princess Grace of Monaco, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Isabelle Adjani, Princess Diana, Marion Cotillard, Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence and more.

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 35.5 x 28.0 cm

Extent: 368 pp

Publication date: 27 July 2017

ISBN: 9780500021545

Contents List

Preface by Pierre-Alexis Dumas • Preface by Bernard Arnault • Introduction by Olivier Gabet and Florence Müller • The Essence of Couture Silhouettes by Florence Müller • Iconic Dior by Jérôme Gautier • Christian Dior Pays an Imaginary Visit to the Museum by Olivier Gabet • Christian Dior’s Apartment by Patrick Mauriès • Seventy Silhouettes

About the Author

Florence Müller is a Professor at the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM), where she teaches the History of Fashion.

Olivier Gabet is Director of the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris.

List of Contributors

Olivier Gabet, Patrick Mauriès, Jérôme Gautier