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Luxury Fashion Influencers: Christian Dior

Written by Caro Clark


Posted on March 20 2024

 There’s a good reason why vintage Dior is considered investment fashion

Few haute couture fashion houses have consistently managed to combine opulence and elegance with the grace of Christian Dior. After studying political science and pivoting from his initial desire to become an architect, he began his career by selling fashion illustrations on the streets of Paris. He nevertheless viewed clothing design as an extension of architecture and stated, “A dress is a piece of ephemeral architecture, designed to enhance the proportions of the female body.” His first couture show debuted in 1947 and was appropriately called The New Look by Harper’s Bazaar Magazine.


 Fashion in the early 40s was marked by utility and simplicity due to rationing of materials during the war, but Dior’s collection was a striking departure from the era of frugality. His designs highlighted the feminine hourglass figure in a way that was entirely new to women, and his focus was on the “figure 8” with the collection featuring cinched waists, exaggerated hips, and rounded shoulders. The peplum skirt’s origins date back to ancient Greece, but Dior’s debut brought the style back though with subtlety. His aim was always to highlight a woman’s natural shape, not overly exaggerate it for fashion’s sake.


He can be credited with creating the pencil skirt as we know it today. His 1954 H-Line collection was titled so because of his emphasis on a woman’s waist with straight lines for her shoulders and legs. The pencil skirt paired with a softly structured blazer, like what you seen in the television show Mad Men, we have Christian Dior to thank for that timeless silhouette. The next year in his A-Line collection, he gave us another silhouette that’ll never go out of style—the A-Line dress.

His creative versatility and commitment to structuring material to accentuate a woman’s natural body has rightfully left an everlasting impression on fashion, and he achieved this feat despite his designing career lasting a mere decade. From 1947 to 1957, Christian Dior gave us cuts and silhouettes that are still known as staples for every modern woman’s wardrobe. And after his unfortunate early death, who took the reins of the renegade fashion house? He left creative control of the brand to his twenty-one-year-old assistant: Yves Saint Laurent.