Christian Dior’s biography…

November 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

BIOGRAPHY (credit to http://designmuseum.org/design/christian-dior)

1905 Born in Granville on the Gulf of St Malo on the Normandy coast, as the second of five children a wealthy fertiliser manufacturer.

1910 The family move to Paris and Dior enrols at the Lycée Gerson

1923 To please his father, Dior studies at the Ecole des Sciences Politiques (Sciences Po’) to prepare to join the diplomatic corps.

1928 Opens a modern art gallery, Galerie Jacques Bonjean, with a friend and financial backing from his father.

1931 The Dior family business folds in the depression. Forced to close the gallery, Dior scrapes a living by selling his art collection and fashion sketches to couturiers.

1938 The couturier Robert Piguet employs Dior as a design assistant at his new couture house.

1939 When World War II begins, Dior is called up into the French Army, but is demobilised after a year when France surrenders and joins his family on a farm in Provence.

1941 Returns to Paris to work as a design assistant to Lucien Lelong.

1946 After World War II ends, Dior persuades the industrialist Marcel Boussac to back him in the opening of his own couture house to be managed by the civil servant Jacques Rouët.

1947 On 12 February Dior presents his debut couture collection, which is an instant success dubbed the ‘New Look’ for its voluptuous silhouette and luxurious fabrics. Launch of the first Dior perfume, Miss Dior.

1948 Dior and Rouët open a ready-to-wear boutique in New York and, over the next few years, launch new perfumes and negotiate the licensing rights for Christian Dior hosiery, ties and other products.

1950 Designs a dress for Marlene Dietrich in Alfred Hitchcock’s Stage Fright and, the following year, a suit for Dietrich in No Highway in the Sky.

1954 After years of variations on the New Look, Dior unveils his new direction, the French Bean Line or Flat Look.

1955 Yves Mathieu-Saint-Laurent joins Dior as a design assistant. The Grande Boutique opens on Avenue Montaigne and Dior launches a cosmetics range.

1956 Designs over a dozen dresses for Ava Gardner in The Little Hut.

1957 Christian Dior dies of a heart attack after choking on a fishbone while on a rest cure at a spa in Montecatini, Italy. Dior’s funeral in Paris is attended by more than 2,500 people. Yves Saint Laurent is named as Dior’s successor and unveils his first collection in January 1958.

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