When he reintroduced the pinched waist, flowing ankle-length skirt in 1947, Christian Dior did more than create a New Look - he helped give women recovering from the devastations of wartime occupation back their long-lost sense of freedom, femininity, and joie de vivre.
Immediately crowned The King of Fashion, he helped reestablish Paris as the center of the fashion world, and the House of Dior its pearl grey (carpeting and velvet covered walls) court, hosting aristocrats, stars of stage and film, and global glitterati such as the Duchess of Windsor, Olivia de Havilland, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, and Ingrid Bergman. The high profile designer also found daily inspiration in the intellectual and artistic circles he moved in, which included Erik Satie, Francis Poulenc, Henry Suguet, Jean Cocteau, and Raoul Dufy.
With elegance and meticulous research, Dior authority Marie-France Pochna's 1996 biography has been revised and updated, and now includes a new introduction by John Galliano. Christian Dior: The Biography (The Overlook Press) is available at Amazon.com.
- Lesley Scott
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