Visiting Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams

Already in April this year, I had the the pleasure to visit one of the most beautiful exhibitions ever, a must for every fashion lover: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. This retrospective celebrates the founding couturier’s avant-garde spirit and the international destiny of his House, shepherded, after his passing in 1957, by the talent of the Creative Directors who succeeded him.

You still have one week left to indulge in the universe of the French Maison as the exhibition has been extended to September 1st after it sold out within 19 days of its opening.

ABOUT CHRISTIAN DIOR

Christian Dior was born into a wealthy Normandie family in the French seaside town of Granville on January 21, 1905. As a child he shared his mother’s love of gardens. is early passions included architecture and designing fancy dress costumes for his friends. Sent by his parents to study political science in Paris, Dior gravitated towards a bohemian group of friends, including composer Henri Sauguet and artist Christian Bérard.

In 1928, he opened and art gallery, but the business foundered when the Dior family fortune collapsed following the 1929 financial crisis. Forced to find a new way to make a living, Dior took up fashion drawing, eventually working with top couturiers Robert Piguet and Lucien Lelong.

In 1946, Dior founded his own couture house with the backing of textile manufacturer Marcel Boussac. On 12 February 1947, the House of Dior launched its first collection. Dubbed the «New Look» by the press, the collection had an instant and unparalleled influence on fashion around the world. The House of Dior grew rapidly. By 1955 it accounted for over 50% of overseas exports of French haute couture.

In the prime of his career, Christian Dior died suddenly on 24 October 1957. His legacy has continued under the creative directors who have succeeded him at the head of the House of Dior: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

THE EXHIBITION

Based on the highly successful Musée des Arts Décoratifs exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve (on view from 5 July 2017 to 7 January 2018), the show charts seven decades of the continuing importance, influence and creativity of the House of Dior in the fashion world, with an additional section showcasing the story of Dior in Britain.

The famous «Bar Suit» and hat, Haute Couture S/S 1947

Drawn from the extensive Dior Archives, the exhibition presents over 500 objects, with over 200 rare Haute Couture garments shown alongside accessories, fashion photography, film, vintage perfume, original make-up, illustrations, magazines, and Christian Dior’s personal possessions. Unfolding across eleven themes, this unique event invites visitors to immerse themselves inside Christian Dior’s world, tracing the highlights of his life, from his childhood to the creation of his couture house at the end of 1946. A voyage through time that continues with the starring role played by such timeless icons as the eternal «Bar Suit», and legendary looks designed by the visionary tastemaker the couturier was.

Celebrating the Dior art of color, accessories, hats, bags, illustrations, miniature dresses, lipsticks and emblematic fragrances together form a spectrum of colors dear to Christian Dior and, in turn, enrich this exciting encounter with the House. The culmination of this immersive exploration, an exhibit called «Le Salon» showcases the splendor of society soirées, illustrated by spectacular dresses that testify to the virtuosity and savoir-faire of excellence of the Dior haute couture ateliers.

THE NEW LOOK

Christian Dior unveiled his first haute couture collection on 12 February 1947, amid excited anticipation within fashion circles. Offering a radical alternative to the boxy, masculine style of women’s fashion after the Second World War, Dior’s designs caused a sensation. Carmel Snow, editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar, declared: « It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian, your dresses have such a new look!» The Dior Line showcases ten defining looks made between 1947 and 1957, Christian Dior’s own tenure at the House.

DIOR IN BRITAIN

Exactly to this day, 72 years before, on 26 August 1947, a small group of people stood together in London’s Claridge’s Hotel, hovering around a smartly dressed middle-aged man holding a trilby hat. The celebrated couturier Christian Dior, who just six months earlier had revolutionized fashion with its first «New Look» collection, was in the process of being ambushed by the press. One journalist grilled him as to how he was able to persuade a world short of fabric to embrace his audacious new fashions, to which Dior replied: «I am giving the women the dresses they want. They’re fed up with war restrictions… My full skirts are a release

«I adore the English, dressed not only in tweeds which suit them so well, but also in those flowing dresses, in subtle colours, which they have worn inimitably since the days of GainsboroughChristian Dior, 1957.

Christian Dior designed this couture dress in 1951 specially for the 2st birthday of Princess Margaret.

In his autobiography, Dior affirmed his love for all things English. He was particularly enamoured with the English aristocracy and he admired the grandeur of the great houses and gardens of Britain, as well as British-designed ocean liners, including the Queen Mary, and Savile Row suits.

HISTORICISM

Christian Dior often cited historic periods in his designs – the sinus lines of Belle Époque dresses from the late 1800s and early 1900s: the tightly waisted mid-nineteenth-century styles worn by the French Empress Eugénie, Napoléon III’s wife. The sumptuous silks and dramatic silhouettes of the eighteenth century held a particular fascination. Dior’s premises at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris had a neo-classical façade, medaillon-backed chairs, and white and grey panelling like that of Petit Trianon at Versailles, a colour Dior is said to have revived.

«I thank heaven I lived in Paris in the last years of the Belle EpoqueChristian Dior, 1957

In front of one of my favorite Dior dresses, Look 24 from the F/W 2004 Haute Couture collection by John Galliano.

TRAVEL

Travels explore how travel and different countries and cultures have consistently inspired the various designers at the House of Dior. This section focuses on five of the countries that provided a source of reference for Christian Dior and his successors at the House of Dior: Mexico, India, Egypt, Japan and China.

THE GARDEN

Flowers are emblematic of the Maison and have inspired silhouettes, embroidery and prints, but also the launch of Miss Dior in 1947, the first fragrance created alongside the very first show.
From horticulture to global travel and historicism, the show reveals the sources of inspiration that defined the House of Dior’s aesthetic.

Look 47 from the F/W 2012 Haute Couture collection by Raf Simons for Dior. It was worn by actress Natalie Portman, the face of Miss Dior perfume.

DESIGNERS FOR DIOR

Designers for Dior spotlights the work of the subsequent six key artistic directors since Christian Dior’s death in 1957.

Since 1957 the House of Dior has been led by:
Yves Saint Laurent 1958-60
Marc Bohan 1960-89
Gianfranco Ferré 1989-96
John Galliano 1996-2011 
Raf Simons 
2012-15
Maria Grazia Chiuri 2016 to present
Each creative director has brought a new perspective.

THE ATELIERS

The Ateliers showcases toiles from the Dior Ateliers in a stunning «cabinet of curiosity» style.

«Everything created by human hands expresses something – above all the personality of the creator. The same thing is true with a dress. But since so many people are working on it, the real job is to get all the hands that cut, sew, try on and embroider to express all I have feltChristian Dior, 1954

DIORAMA

Diorama examines the breadth of the House of Dior, from accessories including costume jewellery, hats, shoes and bags, to illustrations, miniature dresses and archive lipstick and perfume, bottles, collected in a kaleidoscopic display. This section spotlights the key creative partners of the House from the past 70 years, including Roger Vivier Stephen Jones, René Gruau, Serge Lutens and Swarovski, Christian Dior’s first choice for crystals to embellish his creations.

How cool! My own outfit was part of the exhibition.

THE BALLROOM

Drawing on his love of costume, it was in his evening dresses and ball gowns that Dior could indulge his imagination and showcase the diverse skills of the haute couture ateliers. Until today, a Dior gown, synonymous with allure and opulence, demonstrates the formidable talents and techniques of Parisian haute couture. It is no wonder that such striking creations have graced numerous red carpets as the choice of film stars and prominent personalities over the past seven decades.

I hope that you have enjoyed following me on my tour through this beautiful exhibition.

LoL, Sandra

Photos taken of the exhibition: © Sandra Bauknecht

Rouge Dior Ultra Care 2019

This month, Dior is releasing an all-new Rouge Dior Ultra Care lipstick line that is supposed to be longer lasting, more nourishing and better than ever. For the first time, actual flower oil is infused in this range that offers two textures.

Thank you, Dior, for my personalized lipstick!

I had the chance to try them before the official launch date and love that the result of both of them. Providing hydration and comfort for the lips while offering long lasting colour makes them the perfect go-to for anyone looking for everyday radiance. It’s so lightweight that you’ll probably forget you’re wearing it!

Rouge Dior Ultra Care Lipstick (21 shades) – CHF 51.50
Flower oil radiant lipstick – weightless wear

Rouge Dior Ultra Care Liquid (25 shades) – CHF 51.50
Flower oil radiant lipstick –  weightless wear and petal velvet finish

In the new promo clip below, Dior Makeup’s Creative and Image Director Peter Philips, the mastermind behind the collection, breaks down the formula of the new products and gives us an insight into what inspired them. Enjoy and happy weekend!

LoL, Sandra

Photos / Video: © Dior

My Look: Just Keep Swimming

If I say to you, just keep swimming, I am quoting a fish – a really famous fish and that is Dory from the movie Finding Nemo. If you keep swimming, you will not drown and might reach your next goal. Take action to survive, even if that is all you can do. And needless to say, do it with style!

My look: Floral-printed bikini and matching hibiscus-printed cotton hat, both by Etro, fringed plaid basketweave canvas maxi skirt by Proenza Schoulericonheart-shaped turquoise bagicon by Balenciaga, leather platform sandals, both by Saint LaurentImpatiens clip-on earrings by Oscar de la Renta and sunglasses «Reflected» by Dior.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Dioriviera

Do you remember when fashion lovers around the globe were craving for the limited edition pieces, such as the Book Tote, that were only available in DIOR‘s Mykonos pop-up store (for the previous post, click here).

This season, DIOR presents DIORIVIERA, a new capsule collection created by Maria Grazia Chiuri, that celebrates the beauty, leisure and art of farniente. A bright and sunny wardrobe, like an invitation to travel, dedicated to the most delightful Mediterranean getaways, the promise of an eternal summer, from Forte dei MarmiCapri to Mykonos, from MarbellaSaint-Tropez to Ibiza. Great news is that the beautiful items are this season all available online and of course in the respective local holiday boutiques.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Dior
#Dior #DiorRiviera #DiorCruise #MariaGraziaChiuri #PamelaHanson

My Look: Best Never Rest

When visiting São Paulo, it is best never to rest as the city is so vibrant and full of life. Here you see me at the Palácio Tangará Hotel before heading to dinner.

My look: Octave ruffled tulle and corded lace mini dressicon by Peter Pilottomini pochetteicon by Louis Vuitton, faux-pearl tassel earrings by Oscar de la Renta, Dioressence pumps in dark blue cracked leather by Dior.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: Belgrave Square

After São Paulo, my next stop was London this week. I love being in the British metropole where I stayed again at the COMO The Halkin. On my way to meetings, we took these photos right next to the hotel at Belgrave Square. Karl Lagerfeld said: «Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.» It is probably one of the only quotes, I disagree with. You just have to find the right ones … and who can resist a velvet tracksuit?!

Another trend I like is that headbands are not only back in style, but they’re cooler than ever. And sometimes it is good not to take fashion too seriously. If you don’t like to see me in sweatpants, just pull down your headband!

My look: Embellished velvet top, embroidered velvet trousers, and Rylee leather ankle boots, all by Chloéstudded leather headband by Pradaicon, Oblique Saddle bag, and shoulder strap, both by Dior, necklaces by Chanel, and diamond earrings by Cartier.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: It’s All in the Attitude

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. It’s about making the mental shift that will allow you to power through whatever life throws at you. Start each day with an unstoppable attitude to succeed and try to stay motivated throughout the day, regardless of circumstances. Put on a look that you feel confident in and defy the odds against you. I love my new Dior pieces that make me feel extremely good and the coat adds the right amount of color to cheer up the day.

My look: Green oversized cashmere trench coat by Loewe, cream white cashmere sweater with bee embroidery,icon printed voile cotton skirt , Saddle calfskin belt, Oblique Saddle bag, shoulder strap, and J’adior earrings, all by Dior, Rockstud cut out leather combat boots by Valentino. Diamond heart necklace in yellow gold and Amulette necklace, both by Cartier, Jardin de Milly La Forêt daisy necklace and Mitzah ring, both by Dior Fine Jewellery.

LoL, Sandra

iconPhotos: © Sandra Bauknecht

My Look: French Cancan

Friday’s dress code «Parisian Chic – Je Ne Regrette Rien» for the amazing  ASW Winter Weekend in Gstaad was so much fun. I went through my closet and put together some vintage and new pieces for this Cancan-style outfit. The tights incorporated excessive glitz that you cannot see so well on the pictures. I hope that you like it as much as I do.

My look: Vintage bustier with a theatrical Parisian print of the late 19th century by Dolce & Gabbana, stretch-knit high-waisted panties by Prada, Cassandre small suede shoulder bag by Saint Laurent, burlesque can-can style boots by Louis Vuitton, feather boa by Diorgrape colored feather broochicon by Christopher Kanefeather-embellished velvet headband by Prada, Jennifer glitter net tightsicon by Wolford, Eiffel tower pearl earringsmulti-strand pearl body chain necklace and lace sleeves, all by Chanel, rose diamond ring by Piaget.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © David Biedert Photography

Raf Simons and Calvin Klein Part Ways

Breaking news last night: Raf Simons and Calvin Klein part ways after less than two years and eight months before the end of his contract. But the fashion world saw it coming after PVH (which also owns Tommy Hilfiger) chief Emanuel Chirico criticised last month the brand’s bumpy financial performance and high-fashion approach for which on the other side Simons won multiple awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America during his time at Calvin Klein.

With Raf Simons in 2014 when he was still at Dior.

Here lays exactly the problem. The Belgian designer, as well known for his cult menswear label as his well-regarded times at Jil Sander and Dior, was clearly committed to the cause of the iconic brand that consumers know for its denim, underwear and provocative marketing campaigns. He was given a multi-million-dollar salary and the title of chief creative officer. He oversaw all aspects of marketing and design for the American megabrand, a degree of control he did not have at Dior.

Calvin Klein 205W39NYC F/W 2018 ad campaign shot by Willy Vanderperre

Unfortunately, the brand, that was renamed Calvin Klein 205W39NYC under Simons (sorry, but I have hated the name from the beginning), hoped to create a marketing effect through the high-end ready-to-wear collection for its lower-priced products. But this transformation didn’t take place. Personally speaking, I liked the looks Simons designed but I didn’t buy one single piece. Somehow I never felt the urge.

Calvin Klein 205W39NYC F/W 2018 show in NYC

For the American fashion industry, it is a big loss to see Simons go. But on the other hand, it is the only way to go. The brand will NOT even stage a runway show in February which is truly sad as his show definitely got a lot of international attention.

#MyCalvins – bestselling items the brand will focus on even more.

What will happen now with Calvin Klein? Needless to say, probably not another big designer name. but a strategy that will shift the focus of its marketing campaigns from high-fashion to more affordable items. Cobbler, stick to your trade!

Calvin Klein 205W39NYC F/W 2018 runway collection

TO SHOP A LAST PIECE FROM RAF SIMONS FOR CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Calvin Klein and © Sandra Bauknecht

Dior’s It-Belt for Cruise 2019

From the It-bag to the It-belt…! Drawing inspiration from the ezcaramuzas of Mexico (female equestrians in the traditional Mexican rodeo known as charrería), Maria Grazia Chiuri has designed a number of feminine outfits for the DIOR Cruise 2019 collection with eye-catching details: Corsets and wide leather belts in plain black or totally embroidered in Mexican flowers emphasized the models’ waists. In reference to the equestrian world and the House’s heritage, each style of belt is in the form of the ‘Saddle’ bag with its emblematic curved flap and tab decorated with a golden “D”.

Those belts will be flying off the shelves now…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of DIOR