Vintage Dior Dresses & Gowns
Christian Dior's (1905–57) dramatic evening dresses and gowns celebrated luxury and femininity in the late 1940s — and gave to women the gift of glamour they’d lost in the miserable years of the war. The visionary French couturier introduced embellished hourglass ball gowns and eveningwear with nipped waists, while his vintage silk floral print cocktail dresses remain light and versatile today. Two decades before he debuted the “New Look,” however, Dior was an art dealer.
Initially interested in art and architecture, Dior opened an art gallery in 1928 in Paris with a friend. This was the start of his rise in the city’s creative milieu, where he befriended Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau. Later, Dior retrained as a fashion illustrator, eventually working as a fashion designer for Robert Piguet, and went on to join the house of Lucien Lelong in 1941. With the backing of industrialist Marcel Boussac, the ascendant Dior established his own fashion house, at 30 avenue Montaigne in Paris in 1946.
Just after World War II, the fashion crowd and the moribund haute couture industry — desperate to discard the drab, sexless, utilitarian garb imposed by wartime deprivation — needed to dream anew. Dior delivered: He designed a collection for a bright, optimistic future.
“Your dresses have such a new look," exclaimed Carmel Snow, the prescient American editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar. The press ran with the description, christening Dior’s debut Spring/Summer haute couture collection the New Look.
At 1stDibs, our modern and vintage Christian Dior evening dresses include silk formal gowns designed by John Galliano, luminous floral print cocktail dresses and more.