x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

The Instant Expert: Christian Dior

The life and times of the French fashion designer and founder of one of the world's top fashion houses.

THE BASICS The French fashion designer and founder of one of the world's top fashion houses, Christian Dior, was born in 1905 in Granville, a seaside town in Normandy, northern France. He started his career in design by opening an art gallery in 1928. When his father lost his business, Dior was forced to close the gallery and he started working with the designer Roger Piquet. He founded his own fashion house in 1946.

THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM His style was all about shapes and forms. He broke away from the austere post-war-look with voluptuous designs incorporating boned bodices, padded hips and wasp-waisted corsets. His style inspired the designer Coco Chanel to declare: "I love you, Christian, but you dress your women like armchairs". But his "new look" revolutionised women's fashion and helped establish Paris as the fashion capital of the world after the Second World War.

THE DISSENTING OPINION We will always love him for the following statement: "My dream is to save women from nature". But some might argue that his legacy can veer towards the wrong side of bling, or maybe it's just the way he is worn. In Lady Gaga's video for the hit Paparazzi, she wears four rings on her right hand that spell out Dior.

DO SAY J'adore Dior.

DON'T SAY I prefer Chanel.