“J’adore Dior!” is a slogan exclaimed by thousands in this world to show their affection and gratefulness for France’s most regarded couturier, Christian Dior. Monsieur Dior was born over a century ago in the seaside town of Granville in France and lived a life brimming with unexpected changes. Having experienced life in both wealth and neediness, the legend followed his fate and founded one of the fashion industry’s most prominent houses, Dior – which is still reigning strong today. The designer’s legacy remains fixated in our psyche alongside the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, and Coco Chanel, while the variations of his character extend far beyond his influence in the fashion industry.
Here are some of the lessons we can all learn from Monsieur Dior.
1. Let art guide your way
Before starting out in the fashion industry, Christian Dior was the proud owner of a small art gallery in the right bank of Paris which carried paintings by artists like Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso. It is clear that the couturier infused his love for art in the fashion industry by creating extraordinary designs. Dior’s current creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri still includes artistic designs in Dior’s couture gowns to keep the legacy alive.
2. It is OK to be unsure and afraid
“Having entered very late into this profession which others had spent a lifetime learning, and having only instinct to guide me, I had always been afraid of betraying my ignorance. Perhaps it is this very fear of remaining the perpetual amateur that spurred me on to brush aside my doubts at last and create the character Christian Dior, the couturier.” said the famous couturier, Christian Dior. Indeed, the designer confronted different questions and fears in his mind before propelling his very own line. The chance to start Dior knocked on his door twice, yet he never went for it as he never saw himself fitting the mold of a revolutionary who could start a leading fashion house. Only after hearing the news that his associate Pierre Balmain climbed up in life to go into business, he considered starting Dior.
3. Trust your ideas and follow them through
Dior launched his first collection after the end of World War II. While the countries were recuperating from the war, women generally dressed in subtle all-black outfits as they considered it was no time for them to dress in showy garments. The circumstance didn’t hold Dior back from pursuing his thought and vision of luxurious and colorful style. After he released his collection, his vision motivated others in that time and was termed as “the new look.”
4. When in doubt, go for red
“There is certainly a red for everyone.” Christian Dior once said. Thanks to his lipstick Rouge Dior 99, everyone can now add that dramatic splash of red to their look whenever they want to make a statement.
5. The world revolves around details
A fashion house is known to add extensive details to its creations, and Dior thoroughly believes in the idea of telling a story through details. “The detail is as important as the essential is. When it is inadequate, it destroys the whole outfit.” said the designer. Every single product launched by the fashion luxury house — be it a bag, shoes, garment or even an eyeshadow palette — consists of minute details that make the products a cut above the rest.
6. Help others flourish
Christian Dior hired Yves Saint Laurent when he was 19 years old. During Dior’s funeral in 1957, Saint Laurent was photographed standing alone in melancholy. In addition to the fact that he lost his mentor, he was also about to become the world’s youngest couturier at that point in time. If it weren’t for Dior, the world may not look at Saint Laurent the way it does now.