February 2, 2011

Christian Dior Spring 2011 Couture Collection

Happiness is the secret to all beauty.
There is no beauty that is attractive without happiness.
~Christian Dior~

Since February 12th 1947, the House of Dior has made a definite mark in the fashion world of couture. The designer himself, Christian Dior, went down in history from the very first moment his collection stepped out on the French runway. He was hailed by Harper’s Bazaar’s editor in chief Carmel Snow for bringing a “New Look” characterized by his signature shapes of below-mid-calf length, full-skirt, large bust and small waist extravagant fabric creations.  However, the world only got a taste of his divine designs for 10 year as he passed in 1957. His fashion creativity and intuitions earned him the title of one of history’s greatest fashion figures and his name has echoed with taste and luxury.

The House of Dior has seen a few other names since then including the world famous designer Yves Saint Laurent, who despite his acclaimed success in the fashion world today was not a huge success with Dior. At the beginning of his time as head designer he appeared to fit the bill, using a similar style as Christian Dior’s with well made and proportioned creations in the same exquisite fabrics and just tweaking the designs with a softer and more delicate touch. He was hugely praised for the changes. However, with success comes a larger ego and this is what let the young designer down as his designs got too bold for Dior and his leave to join the French army was welcomed by all. It’s a wonder to think that Yves Saint Laurent could have ever been so hugely criticized when you see what he went on to do in the world of fashion by creating epic designs that are admired by people around the world and establishing a very successful fashion house. If first you don’t succeed, try again!        

After Laurent left for the army in the late 1960s, Marc Bohan took over as head designer for Dior and waved a more conservative style wand over the collections which had everyone back on board. He received the comment, “at the forefront of fashion while still producing wearable, elegant clothes”. Twenty years on down the road, Dior went under yet another change of designer hands to Gianfranco Ferré and this time even more drastic in the sense that he was the first non-Frenchman and with that he left behind the traditional romantic feel for a more refined and strict one.

Thankfully, in 1997, Ann Wintour had a stroke of genius, not the first of its kind and appointed British designer genius John Galliano who has revamped the House of Dior to such a level that he has even been compared to Christian Dior himself, “Galliano has a creative talent very close to that of Christian Dior. He has the same extraordinary mixture of romanticism, feminism, and modernity that symbolized Monsieur Dior. In all of his creations - his suits, his dresses - one finds similarities to the Dior style.”  And I have to say, I 100%, completely agree. Despite some of his controversial shows, Galliano has combined femininity, romanticism and drama to form a perfect fashion nucleus which functions to such a wonderful full capacity.

The House of Dior has created a world that continuously mesmerizes me in every realm: clothing, advertisements, perfumes, jewelry. The creativity and innovation just gushes from its heart and you can feel it’s warmth as it transports you to another world where anything is possible. Galliano quotes that his “role is to seduce” and I fall for it every time!

Last week at the Spring 2011 Dior Couture show, Galliano brought his game and won! Only learning this recently, he had actually studied fashion illustration and was heading in that direction career wise until Ann Wintour stepped in. The world of couture would have defiantly missed out if it wasn’t for her and his talent.

The Dior couture collection showed a flashback to the forties and fifties when couture had hit its most fashionable peak. Fittingly, Galliano took his inspiration from Rene Gruau, a fashion illustrator whose portfolio includes some of the most iconic creations for Christian Dior from that era. And my my did he succeed. Each piece of the collection reflected the style of Gruau in the illustrative flow of the cloth and embroidery and indeed hinted at the “New Look” Christian Dior was famous for- skirts which flared from corseted waists and rounded hips to below the knees.

Skillfully, Galliano played with light and shade by using seven layers of tulle fabric instead of hand painting to create the depth and shadows in the many layers of fabric throughout the collection creating a beautiful and impressive effect. Embroidery, sequins, and ostrich feathers were all used to create different lines of light and shadows. Galliano has the talent of transporting you to another world with every collection by defying reality and leaving you marveled and in awe of the talent you’ve just seen float down the Paris runway.

all pictures via
Love to hear your thoughts on the collection...


  1. Dying. Love the big dramatic gowns. Love. Oh to wear one....

  2. They're so pretty! I love how bold every piece is.

  3. I love the second half of the collection- the 50s inspired sherbert dresses are amazing- the blue and blush one is particularly fabulous. I love your posts- read every word and always learn so much!!

  4. I love how Dior as come full-circle!

  5. Most of the time I see stuff come down the runway I'm totally underwhelmed. This is all beautiful, practical...it's art! Really pushes the bounds of fashion I think. Now I just need to figure out how to be rich, be famous, and how to get invited somewhere I could wear one of these!


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