For me Christian Dior is one of the most iconic designers of all time. Luxury, elegance and style is how I would describe his ability to make “[women] not just more beautiful but also happier” he once said. Born in 1905 Dior didn’t truly find his calling within the fashionable Parisian streets until around 40 years of age, when he chanced upon a man who was willing to fund his first fashion boutique. His first show was full of long skirts, narrow waists, full busts – which was a far cry from the short skirts and boxy jackets worn at the time.
The New Zealand connection to Dior came by way of El Jay, the design label started by Gus Fisher. Gus travelled to Paris regularly to see first hand the fashion trends, fabrics and designs which he interpreted under his own label on, return to NZ. Gus went on to become the New Zealand licensee for Christian Dior, which gave him exclusive rights to manufacture and sell Christian Dior originals and Christian Dior pret-a-porter in the New Zealand market. The quality of the garments from El Jay saw him become the longest licence holder in the world until he closed the doors in 1988.
Last weekend I was lucky enough to find at a Vintage Fair, a Christian Dior Black velvet dress from El Jay; which although too big for me, had beautiful beading around the neck-line and cuff, which I couldn’t resist and am going to get made smaller. As always, a girl can never have too many LBD (little black dresses) and this one is no exception. The stall holder from Passionata was reluctant to sell it, as was hoping one day she might be able to fit into it! I convinced her otherwise!!
Currently showing at the Rialto Cinemas in Newmarket is the Dior and I movie, a behind-the-scenes documentary following designer Raf Simons as he pulls together his first Dior Haute Couture collection as Artistic Director for the iconic fashion house. The movie is said to be amazing and I can’t wait to see it.
“Fashion is an expression of faith. In this world of ours that seeks to give away its secrets one by one, that feeds on false confidences and fabricated revelations, it is the very incarnation of mystery, and the best proof of the spell it casts is that, now more than ever, it is the topic on everyone’s lips.”. Christian Dior