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Christian Dior Haute Couture Evening Dresses and Gowns

French

When Christian Dior launched his haute couture house, in 1946, he wanted nothing less than to make “an elegant woman more beautiful and a beautiful woman more elegant.” He succeeded, and in doing so the visionary designer altered the landscape of 20th century fashion. Vintage Dior bags, shoes, evening dresses, shirts and other garments and accessories are known today for their feminine and sophisticated sensibility.

Dior was born in Granville, on the Normandy coast, in 1905. His prosperous haute bourgeois parents wanted him to become a diplomat despite his interest in art and architecture. However, they agreed to bankroll an art gallery, which Dior opened in 1928 in Paris with a friend.

This was the start of Dior’s rise in the city’s creative milieu, where he befriended Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau. After seven years as an art dealer, Dior retrained as a fashion illustrator, eventually landing a job as a fashion designer for Robert Piguet, and in 1941, following a year of military service, he joined the house of Lucien Lelong. Just five years later, with the backing of industrialist Marcel Boussac, the ascendant Dior established his own fashion house, at 30 avenue Montaigne in Paris.

Two years after the end of World War II, the fashion crowd and the moribund haute couture industry were yearning, comme tout Paris, for security and prosperity, desperate to discard the drab, sexless, utilitarian garb imposed by wartime deprivation. They needed to dream anew.

And Dior delivered: He designed a collection for a bright, optimistic future.

“It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian!” exclaimed Carmel Snow, the prescient American editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, famously proclaiming, “Your dresses have such a new look.” The press ran with the description, christening Dior’s debut Spring/Summer haute couture collection the New Look. “God help those who bought before they saw Dior,” said Snow. “This changes everything.”

Dior’s collection definitively declared that opulence, luxury and femininity were in. His skirts could have 40-meter-circumference hems, and outfits could weigh up to 60 pounds. They were cut and shaped like architecture, on strong foundations that molded women and “freed them from nature,” Dior said. Rather than rationing, his ladies wanted reams of fabric and 19-inch waists enforced by wire corsets, and the fashion world concurred. The debut got a standing ovation.

In the subsequent decade, Paris ruled as the undisputed fashion capital of the world, and Christian Dior reigned as its king. With the luxuriously full skirts of his New Look, suits and his drop-dead gorgeous couture evening dresses and ball gowns worthy of any princess, Dior gave women the gift of glamour they’d lost in the miserable years of war.

Find vintage Dior haute couture dresses and gowns for sale on 1stDibs.

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Designer: Christian Dior Haute Couture
Autumn/Winter 1959 Christian Dior Couture Black Silk Chiffon "Bella" Gown
By Christian Dior Haute Couture
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Absolutely breathtaking black layered silk chiffon Christian Dior Couture gown from the fall/winter 1959 collection. Strapless, very subtle sweetheart neckline with a corseted bodice...
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1950s French Christian Dior Haute Couture Evening Dresses and Gowns

Christian Dior Haute Couture Silk Organza AW 1972 Gown
By Christian Dior, Christian Dior Haute Couture
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Haute couture silk organza gown by Christian Dior Autumn/Winter 1972 Collection Floor length One Shoulder Ruffled bodice Blue lining topped with lightweight purple organza; gives cha...
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1970s French Christian Dior Haute Couture Evening Dresses and Gowns

1990s Christian Dior Haute Couture Cocktail Dress W/Velvet Corset Detailing
By Christian Dior, Christian Dior Haute Couture
Located in Gresham, OR
A Gorgeous 1990s numbered Dior Haute Couture cocktail dress by Gianfranco Ferre': Micro-pleated silk tulle strapless bust, silk velvet "corset style" waist and forest green silk taff...
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1990s French Christian Dior Haute Couture Evening Dresses and Gowns

Christian Dior Haute Couture dress
By Christian Dior Haute Couture
Located in Rubiera, RE
Christian Dior HAUTE COUTURE PARIS Dress N° 27974 - 1990s - Gianfranco Ferré art director Ruby red silk pleating with silk lining in the same colour...
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1990s French Christian Dior Haute Couture Evening Dresses and Gowns

CHISTIAN DIOR HAUTE COUTURE Navy Layered Chiffon Dress, Betsy Bloomingdale 1980s
By Christian Dior Haute Couture
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This is a navy blue three layer chiffon swirl print cocktail dress by Christian Dior Haute Couture, from the early 1980's. The dress has a deep v in the front and the back, knots at ...
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1980s French Christian Dior Haute Couture Evening Dresses and Gowns

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Christian Dior Haute Couture evening dresses and gowns for sale on 1stDibs.

Find an extraordinary range of authentic Christian Dior Haute Couture evening dresses and gowns available on 1stDibs. Customers who are interested in this designer might also find the work of Gianfranco Ferré for Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain Haute Couture, and Louis Feraud Paris appealing. On 1stDibs, find haute couture, vintage and designer Christian Dior Haute Couture evening dresses and gowns from top boutiques around the world. Christian Dior Haute Couture evening dresses and gowns prices can differ depending upon time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $2,552 and tops out at $11,021, while the average work can sell for $5,295.
Questions About Christian Dior Haute Couture Evening Dresses and Gowns
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 20, 2024
    Yes, Dior is haute couture.

    The French luxury fashion house Christian Dior is an official member of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM), which is the governing body in France that determines which maisons can operate with haute couture status.

    When Christian Dior launched his haute couture house, in 1946, he wanted nothing less than to make “an elegant woman more beautiful and a beautiful woman more elegant.” He succeeded, and in doing so the visionary designer altered the landscape of 20th century fashion. Vintage Dior bags, shoes, evening dresses, shirts and other garments and accessories are known today for their feminine and sophisticated sensibility.

    On 1stDibs, explore a wide range of vintage Dior apparel and accessories.

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