Christian Dior is one of the most influential fashion designers of all time - he's also one of my favorite fashion designers - and that’s why I tried to learn as much as I could about him and his work, so I would like to share with you a few fun facts about Christian Dior that you might not know. His work was such an inspiration for a lot of designers and I could even say that he completely revolutionized the entire fashion world. He is very famous for saying that "a woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting" and he believed that, "Happiness is the secret to all beauty. There is no beauty without happiness." Oh, j’adore Dior! Here’s a few interesting facts about Christian Dior you didn’t know:
1. He Owned an Art Gallery
I guess I could say that one of the most interesting facts about Christian Dior that I discovered was that fact that before he became this very famous French couturier, he, along with one of his friends, owned a small art gallery that his father bought for him on condition that his family name didn’t appear above the door. His gallery, named Jacques Bonjean sold work by artists including Jean Cocteau, Georges Braque and even Pablo Picasso. Dior was forced to close down his business in 1931 when his family firm collapsed, and for the following years, he sold fashion sketches to famous fashion houses in order to make a living.
2. Dior the Diplomat
Christian Dior was born in 1905 in Grandville, on the coast of Normandy and he was the second of five children, his father being of one of the wealthiest fertilizer manufacturer at that time. His parents hoped he would become a famous diplomat and at his father’s insistence, Dior attended the prestigious Ecole de Sciences Politiques in Paris to get a degree in politics. But, this wasn’t his dream because he loved arts and he decided to leave school and follow his dream, no matter what.
3. His First Collection – New Look
Dior founded his own fashion house in 1946, helped by Marcel Boussac, a cotton-fabric magnate. In 1947, he presented his first collection, which had such a tremendous impact upon the entire fashion world. This collection, although Dior named the lines "Corolle" and "Huit" was renamed by US Harper's Bazaar magazine editor Carmel Snow, the "New Look" and that name stick with it ever since.
4. His First Perfume – Miss Dior
In 1947, along with his first collection, New Look, Christian Dior also launched his first perfume, Miss Dior, as a tribute to his little sister that he loved very, very much. You can find this perfume nowadays and it’s called "Miss Dior Eau de Toillete Originale." About this amazing fragrance, Christian Dior said, "I created this perfume to wrap each woman in exquisite femininity, as each of my designs were emerging from the bottle one by one."
5. He Was Known to Be Very Superstitious
Christian Dior was known to be very superstitious and this quality of him increased with age. In every collection he launched, he included a coat named after his birth place, Grandville, and in each one of his shows, at least one of his models had to wear a bunch of his favorite flower, Lily of the Valley. People also say that he never began one of this fashion shows without first consulting his tarot card reader.
6. Yves Saint Laurent – Dior’s Design Assistant
I’m not sure if much of you know but in 1955, at the age of 19, Yves Saint Laurent became Dior’s design assistant. Although he was as timid as Dior himself, in the friendly and creative atmosphere of Dior’s fashion house, Yves Saint Laurent blossomed and later became the fashion sensation that he is. When he was 21 years old, after Dior’s death, Yves Saint Laurent became the artistic director of Dior’s couture house and he remained in that position until 1960 when he was called to join the French army.
7. Dior Staged a Private Presentation for the British Royal Family
Although he had very famous clients like Rita Hayworth and Margot Fonteyn, Christian Dior was even invited by the British Royal Family to stage a private presentation of his collection. It is said that King George V forbade the young princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret to wear outfits from the New Look collection because he considered that they could set a bad example in that times, after the World War II, when rationing was still in force and because Dior’s designs were very sumptuous and quite opulent.
Christian Dior was definitely one of the most important men of all time in the fashion industry, his influence being acknowledged by the future trends and directions that he set with his innovative designs. Now, I would just like to know; don’t you find this information very interesting? What other fun facts about this fashion guru do you know? Please, feel free to share them with me!