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History of American Fashion

History of American Fashion

Christian Dior in History of American Fashion

Christian Dior (1905-1957) was a famous French fashion designer who headquartered his couture label in Paris in 1946. The following year, he debuted the "New Look" which established his reputation: it has been described as "narrow shoulders, constricted waist, emphasized bust, and long, wide skirt."2 It was an utterly uncomfortable outfit and one hardly suited to any type of manual labor, but it nonetheless proved wildly popular. The New Look cemented Dior's reputation, enshrined him as "the template for the designer as a celebrity," and placed him on the cover of Time magazine.3 As the New York Times reported, it was Dior who "invented the notion of licensing a designer name for fees, catered to publicity-generating clients like Marlene Dietrich and Lauren Bacall and was the first designer to insist on changes in fashion with an eye on generating front-page articles and forcing women to buy more clothes."4

Dior only lived for ten years after his couturier was established, but his designs ensured that his name would live on forever as a brand name. He created the short, waistless sack dress in the early 1950s and the A-line dress in 1956. By the time of his death in 1957, the House of Dior had salons in fifteen countries and employed more than 2,000 people.5

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