One of the most respected and revered fashion houses in Paris was created by a couturier who sadly had a short career. Christian Dior launched his groundbreaking collection in February 1947 and changed the course of fashion. Since then, the House has continued to innovate with a distinctly French point-of-view. Here are some highlights from its rich history.
History of Dior Fashion House
1905: Christian Dior was born on 21 January in Granville, Normandy.
1928: Christian Dior opens an art gallery in Paris.
1946: Christian Dior founds his couture house at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris.
1938: Christian Dior takes his first steps in fashion, becoming a pattern cutter for Robert Piguet.
1947: On 12 February 1947 at 10:30 a.m. Christian Dior, aged 42, presented his first collection to the press in the salons of 30 avenue Montaigne. The editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazzar Carmel Snow strongly believed in the couturiers’ talent, which she had already noted in 1937 with the Café Anglais model that he design for Robert Piguet. At the end of the fashion show, having seen the unique silhouettes, the lengths, the volumes, the tiny waists and devilishly sexy busts, she exclaimed, “It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian! Your dresses have such a new look! A correspondent from Reuters seized the slogan and quickly wrote it on a note that he threw from the balcony to a courier posted on avenue Montaigne.
News traveled to the United States that very day and the news of this “new look” caused shock waves on both sides of the Atlantic. Just two years after the end of the war, Dior, with this collection in his own image definitively turned the page of restriction, gloom, rationing, gravity, and uniforms. With this revolutionary ‘New Look’, Dior wrote a new chapter in the history of fashion.
1950: Actress Marlene Dietrich demands in her contract for Hitchcock’s “Stage Fright” that all her costumes be designed by Dior. She would later only wear Dior lipstick No 5 and No 28.
1951: For the “Ball of the Century”, Christian Dior and the painter Salvador Dali create a procession of traditional figures.
1953: Launch of Rouge Dior, Dior’s first lipstick.
1954: Dior offers Grace Kelly a small Chinese case in which her favourite Dior lipstick and its refills sat nestled in a drawer.
1956: Creation of the fragrance Diorissimo.
1957: A few months before his death, Christian Dior is the first couturier to make the cover of the prestigious American Magazine Time.
1958: Launch of the first Dior powder compact.
1959: Fashion show in Moscow.
1962: Launch of the first Dior nail lacquers.
1966: Launch of Eau Sauvage, the House’s first fragrance for men.
1967: Creation of Baby Dior.
1969: 1st Dior mascara in the “Color explosion” makeup collection.
1970: “Rainbow Eye” by Dior launches.
1972: Dior launches ”Diormatic” mascara.
1976: Dior launches a waterproof version of ”Diormatic” mascara.
1975: Creation of the first Dior watches.
1986: Creation of Capture, the House’s first skincare.
1984: Dior gets the blues and introduces ”Electric blue” or “outer-space blue” mascara, the first blue mascara!
1987: Launch of the 5 Couleurs palette.
1995: Launch of the Lady Dior bag.
1997: Opening of the Christian Dior museum in Granville, Normandy.
1998: Victoire de Castillane becomes the first creative director of Dior Fine Jewellery.
1999: Launch of the fragrance, J’adore. The name came from the fact that designer John Galliano did not speak any French when he took over the design duties for Dior. When anyone asked him a question, he replied, “J’Adore”. It means “I love”.
2002: Dior launches Diorshow mascara.
2005: Creation of Dior Homme.
2005: Dior launches the revolutionary Dior Airflash foundation
2006: Arrival of Francois Demachy as the House’s executive perfumer-creator.
2006: Morrissey releases a single called “Christian Dior” as the b-side to his single “In the Future When All’s Well”
2007: Arrival of Kris Van Assche as the creative director of the Dior Homme lines.
2008: Marion Cotillard becomes the muse for the Lady Dior bag.
2009: Dior launches Dior Lipglow
2010: Natalie Portman becomes the muse for the fragrance Miss Dior.
2012: Arrival of Raf Simmons as the creative director of Dior womenswear.
2013: Robert Pattinson is the new face of the fragrance Dior Homme.
2013: Dior launches Airflash CC Primer and Airy Matte Powder.
2014: Arrival of Peter Phillips as the creative and image director for Dior
2014: Rizzoli publishes a lavish coffee table book called “Les Parfums” written by fragrance expert Chandler Burr.
2015: Rihanna is signed as a Dior spokesmodel
2015: Dior launches its first cheek and lip tint, Dior Cheek & Lip Glow
2015: Spring pret-a-porter collection arrives in stores.
2015: Pro makeup artist Nina Westbury creates face charts for all the Dior 5-Couleurs Eyeshadow Palettes ninawestbury.com