Dior Images Captured By Paolo Roversi

"THERE IS SOMETHING DEEPLY MYSTERIOUS ABOUT OUR OBSESSION FOR THE SPECTRAL INTERPLAY OF COLOURS AND LINES THAT WE CALL PHOTOGRAPHY. FASHION, LIKE PHOTOGRAPHY, HAS A POWER SIMILAR TO ALCHEMY, WHICH ENABLES OBJECTS TO APPEAR DIFFERENTLY TO HOW THEY TRULY ARE."

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Majestic volumes, tiny waists, daring décolletage, silhouettes both chaste and sensual. 

The year was 1947 and Christian Dior had launched his first fashion collection in Paris. After the years of hardships and dearth during the war, the European fashion scene found itself in a deadlock. The designs were curt and sombre, as if trying to remind women of the past decade of struggling. Dior, however, didn't aspire to be thrifty. His collections awed audiences with an unconcealed seductiveness that sought to restore the mysterious female sex-appeal. The iconic Bar jacket was a typical representative of the new fashion manifesto, highlighting the curves of the bust but extended by an elegant flared skirt, the silhouette appeared to be light-hearted and voluptuous at the same time. 

"It's quite a revolution, dear Christian! Your dresses have such a new look!" was an excited exclamation of Carmel Snow, the then-editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar. With these words, Snow went down in fashion history as a visionary prophet, as the label New Look quickly became Dior's trademark.

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After ten years in business, Christian managed not only to establish an influential fashion house, but also to restore Paris as the mecca of the fashion world. Worn by celebrities like Eva Perón or Marlene Dietrich, Dior's creations awakened admiration, but also controversy - some considered New Look to be wasteful and profligate. Many clients didn't feel comfortable about the comeback of the full-length skirts. “Only a man who never was intimate with a woman could design something that uncomfortable,” remarked Coco Chanel. 

Despite all the objections, Christian Dior became an indisputable part of fashion's legacy, already entering the hall of fame during his lifetime. The history of Dior's designs and the evolution of his flower women was captured by photographer Paolo Roversi in the grandiose book Dior Images. Browsing through the fashion milestones, one page at a time, brings Dior's genius a step closer to us, mortals. 

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Explore the first few pages and read more at dior.com.


Words: Kristýna Svobodová | Photos: Barbora Bydžovská | Book: Dior Images