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.
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.
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.
Kramer for Dior
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”.
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
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.
Grosse Jewellery company got the exclusive right to produce and sell the
collection line Christian Dior Bijoux.
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.
And that’s what we