Dior and the Age of Haute Couture

Dior and the Age of Haute Couture

How Dior brought about the rise of haute couture and a brief history of important designers debuts throughout history.

1919: Balenziaga 

Created in Spain by Cristobal Balenziaga, he originally began by making garments for the royal family but unfortunately closed his business during the midst of the Spanish Civil war. He then moved to Paris where he reopened Balenziaga as a fashion house and found himself extremely successful due to his retained ability to access fabrics that others in Paris weren’t able to get due to his connections with textiles merchants in Spain.

1920: Chanel 

founded just a few years previously Coco Chanel found herself being one of the first fashion houses to promote boxy and more masculine styles to women through tailored suits that were considered avant garde at the time and we’re not at all well received.

1927: Schiaparelli 

Italian aristocrat Elsa Schiaparelli was one of the first women to enter the luxury fashion scene and starting with knitwear and collaborating with artists such as Salvador Dali, leading to some incredible and unique work such as this;


1947: DIOR

Christian Dior born in 1905 France quickly rose to infamy after his first fashion show went down in history as being the show to revive fashion. His signature silhouette was a small cinched or corseted waist with padded or accentuated hips and bust. This was seen as quite controversial at the time due to its excessive use of fabric after the war, when fabric was being rationed and used sparingly, some felt this was a step backwards from women in retrospect to Chanel’s introduction to the suit which would later go on to become extremely popular with celebrities  and even politicians such as princess Dianna and Hillary Clinton in more recent years. Many thought the return of corsets and extreme uses of fabrics was just a step in the wrong direction and Christian Dior did briefly close shop during the Great Depression and was then drafted into the army between 1940-42 but managed to rise again more successful than ever until his death from a heart attack at the age of just 52.

however his legacy didn’t end here thanks to taking on prodigy Yves Henri Donat Matthieu-Saint-Laurent and announcing he would be Diors successor just 2 months before Christian Diors own death the young 21 year old managed to release a spring collection just 4 years after being appointed in 1954 featuring Diors signature Silhouette, an ode to Christian and all his work.

1961: Yves Saint Laurent

despite working for one of the most famous fashion houses in history Saint Laurent decided to open his own fashion house with partner Pierre Berge under Laurent’s own name in 1962 after an alleged nervous collapse after induction to the French army in 1960 and being replaced by Marc Bohan as Chief designer at Dior. Yves Saint Laurent went on to carve his own name in the halls of fashion history popularising the beatnik look of the 60/70s and production of a ready to wear line in 1966 just a few years after their launch.

Today Dior still stands as one of the most famous and influential fashion houses of our time with current designer Maria Grazia being appointed as creative director after working at several other luxury brands including Fendi and Valentino and continues to produce work with Diors signature silhouette, although not quite as extreme, to this day.


Back to blog

Leave a comment