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Everybody wants to wear Dior

Posted by Antiques by Anna editor on Aug 22nd 2018

Everybody wants to wear Dior


When we talk about history of fashion, one of the first names that comes to our mind is Christian Dior, simply because there would be no fashion as we know it without his genius innovative ideas and his passion for perfection. He broke all the existing stereotypes of boring silhouettes, dull colors and humble outfits and started a revolution of his glamorous and striking designs that couldn’t leave anybody indifferent. He put the woman on a pedestal of elegance, color and worship.


Deep in every heart slumbers a dream, and the couturier knows it: every woman is a princess.

Christian Dior


Christian Dior was born in Normandy in 1905 and took his first steps in the world of fashion in the mid-30s, doing his first sketches of dresses and hats for Parisian magazines. After war, in 1946 he established the House of Dior and a year later he presented his first haute couture collection the “New Look”, featuring an extravagant use of fabric, narrow waists and dropped hemlines and accessorized with high heels, hats, gloves and costume jewelry. He saw jewelry as an integral part of his collections.

   


I wanted to be considered a good craftsman. I wanted my dresses to be constructed like buildings, molded to the curves of the female form, stylizing its shape.

Christian Dior


                       


Who made the jewelry for the House of Dior?


Christian Dior was a perfectionist and he wanted all the costume jewelry pieces under name of Dior correspond to his standards of the highest craftsmanship and quality of its clothing designs, that’s why he only employed the most talented jewelry designers, including Henry Schreiner and Kramer in the USA, Mitchell Maer in England, Henkel & Grosse in Germany, Josette Gripoix in France and, most recently, Robert Goossens.




Color is what gives jewels their worth. They light up and enhance the face. Nothing is more elegant than a black skirt and sweater worn with a sparkling multi-stoned necklace.

Christian Dior



Kramer for Dior

Louis Kramer established his company in 1943 in New York. He was a big admirer of stone-rich designs and loved decorating his pieces with textured or “crackled” glass, crystal beads, colored pearls and all kinds of colorful enamel. Of course, Dior couldn’t resist this combination of elegance and glamor and they started working together. Their collaboration was extremely productive, and Kramer made numerous pieces for Dior in the 50s and 60s, marked “Christian Dior by Kramer”, “Dior by Kramer”, “Kramer for Dior”.



Mitchell Maer

Mitchell Maer established a metal casting and costume jewelry company, initially known as “Metalplastics’and renamed later into “Mitchell Maer” in London in the late 30s. in 1952 Christian Dior licensed Maer to manufacture jewelry for his collections. His floral and unicorn pins became of a great demand by collectors due to their innovative and unique design.


  




Henkel & Grosse



After Maer went bankrupt, Christian Dior started a new line of jewelry, manufactured by Henkel & Grosse. All their jewelry was hand-made and had an elevated stunning design. The different layers and folds were mirrored by the smart use of stones and different shades of colors. The settings for the stones were placed in a frame and were soldered together individually before being plated. After 1958, the mark included the date of manufacture alongside Christian Dior logo. Those became the most collectable and sought-after pieces.

The Grosse Jewellery company got the exclusive right to produce and sell the collection line Christian Dior Bijoux.




Christian Dior was the King of Couture and his customers were the queens: Farah Pahvali (the exiled empress of Iran), the Duchess of Windsor, Ava Gardner, Ingrid Bergman, Rita Hayworth, Marlen Dietrich, Lauren Bacall.



Christian Dior was a great negotiator and a smart businessman. In 1950, after recognizing the need for accessories such as hats and gloves to complete the “New Look”, Dior became the first couturier to sign licensing agreements for the production of his designs. Soon after, the name “Christian Dior” could be found around the globe on a wide range of luxury items from shoes and bags to stockings and ties.

Though this new business model received heavy protests by those, who thought the move was cheapening the haute couture industry, it actually helped put Parisian haute couture back on the international stage. The strategy proved to be very profitable for Dior and, eventually, almost every fashion house at the time would follow it.

The list of innovative designers who headed the company after Dior’s death is very impressive: from Yves Saint Laurent, Mark Bohan, Gianfranco Ferre to John Galliano.


The house of Dior has been a synonym to the “Parisian Couture” and helped to establish Paris as one of the capitals of the world of fashion. Everything that Dior created is a true masterpiece and his signature style has a unique timeless feel to it. It is impossible to summarize everything That Dior has done, but if we tired we’d rather use his own words:

Finally, everything that has been part of my life, whether I wanted it to or not, has expressed itself in my dresses.

Christian Dior

And that’s what we call genius.