The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture

The House of Dior was established in 1946, and its first haute couture collection was shown in 1947. It is now seventy years since Christian Dior presented his vision to reinvigorate the ailing postwar French fashion industry and created a couture house whose reach and relevance is still felt globally today. Founding the house at the age of forty-one, Christian Dior oversaw the growth, success and influence of the label during its first ten years, until his untimely death in 1957. He was highly influential in redefining the feminine postwar silhouette in the late 1940s to mid-1950s by introducing styles that featured rounded shoulders, exaggerated padded hips and full skirts made with an abundance of fabric. Dior was an extraordinary designer, entrepreneur and visionary who had a lasting impact on mid twentieth-century fashion and culture. Shaped by the constraints and opportunities of the tumultuous era in which he lived, Dior carved out a groundbreaking path in fashion and has become an inspiration to generations of designers including the six creative directors who have succeeded him at Dior.