February 12, 2013

New Look | DIOR 1947


"It was the twelfth of February 1947. The people of Paris were shivering with cold as the temperature fell to thirteen degrees of frost. Coal was in short supply, and the newspapers were out on an indefinite strike. And so it came about that the French were the last to learn of the momentous event that had just taken place in a private mansion in the Avenue Montaigne: the event in question was the birth of a couturier. More than that, it was the birth of a fashion—perhaps even the birth of Fashion itself—a fashion from that day forward was to be word of law from South America to the Australian subcontinent.

Sales assistants on the day of the opening.
In a pearl-grey room a middle-aged man stood besieged by a throng of people, his chubby features scarred by lipstick, while an exceedingly ugly American lady, Carmel Snow, editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar, was heard to proclaim the historic words, 'It's quite a revolution, dear Christian. Your dresses have such a new look. They are wonderful, you know!'

Right to Left, Carmel Snow, Harper's Bazaar, Richard Avedon, and Marie-Louise Bousquet, The Eyes of America.
NEW LOOK, the first collection to bear the name of Christian Dior, was thus baptized. It was an expression that was to catch on in every one of the world's countless languages.

Most American buyers had already left Paris, having bought all they wanted from Jacques Fath, Lelong, Piguet, Rochas, Balmain and Balenciaga... 'The poor things,' Carmel Snow remarked with her usual discernment. 'They'll have to come back.' And come back they did. So began a venture that was as brief as it was brilliant, a venture without equal in the whole history of fashion. There were other stars in the firmament, but Dior's star shone brightest." excerpted from DIOR by Francoise Giroud 

Dior in his garden at the Moulin. He had a green thumb. Photo by Ostier

Happy 66 NEW LOOK.
photos: Dior book


  1. Ahhh Babara ~ I love when you write about legends! Now if I could only get my fondant to look as beautiful as that gown!
    Stay warm friend.

  2. dreamy.......................

    seriously dreamy and achingly Chic.

  3. Barbara when I see that you've written another one of your tremendous posts, it just makes me feel like all is right in the world. I am sad to say I know so very little about Dior the man; you've now peaked my curiosity. I suspect that Ms. Snow would be quite the fascinating character and a force to be reckoned with!

    I hope the weekend brings you nothing but bright skies!

    xox Deb

  4. Had dinner with a friend who was wearing vintage Dior last night, a canary yellow suit with black diamond-studded buttons. Great! You put together a beautiful album!

  5. Barbara, I just read your blog for the first time and am hooked! What brought me to it was when I read an article in Arts & Decoration magazine, January 1929 that has an article written by your grandfather Alfed Scheffer. It was the fourth in a series of articles the magazine ran on Architects' personal homes. There are pictures of the outside, inside rooms and even a floorplan! One of my passions is old homes. In fact we raised our daughters in a 1933 English Tudor was why the photograph of your grandfathers awesome English Manor caught my eye as I was flipping through this vintage magazine. Also was very touched by your description of childhood memories at his beach home. The sounds and smells as well as the crackling of the sheets....what sweet memories. I am interested in doing further research on your grandfather and the beautiful masterpieces he built.

  6. Dear Lisa, Team G., Deb, and Paul, Thank you so much for stopping by. I've been late in replying as I continue to set up my online shop at Etsy. I believe you are all informed through my Facebook page. I'm delighted you enjoyed the DIOR post and Paul, I'm sure the canary yellow, vintage Dior suit was sublime! Thanks to all! ox

    Dear Cynthia,
    I am, just today seeing your message. I've been away from the blog for a while and what a surprise to read your comment! I would love to see that article. I have another article I could share with you. I'm thrilled when people discover my grandfather. Thank you so much for reading my blog. I look forward to further communication with you! All best, Barbara


I love reading your comments. And, I thank you so much for visiting!