Christian Dior’s career, a veritable fairy tale, is set in a rich tapestry of Paris cultural life before, during, and after the war. Much of Dior’s daily inspiration emanated from the world of the intellectual and artistic elite, in which he moved with such people as Erik Satie, Francis Poulenc, Henry Sauguet, Jean Cocteau, and Raoul Dufy.
Born at the end of an era in which luxury seemed reserved only for the happy few, Dior again revolutionized the world of fashion by introducing, in the early 1950s, “ready-to-wear” in his Dior Boutique. Until then, couturiers had worked essentially if not exclusively for the very rich and famous. With his boutique, Dior brought high fashion to the world at large. In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the “New Look,” New York’s Metropolitan Museum mounted a major Dior retrospective in the winter of 1996–97.
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