Christian Dior - Part I


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June 10, 2010

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Do you find it difficult to be successful in this world of fashion?

Are those who succeed special people? Were they born "fashion stars", to happily succeed in fashion jobs from the very beginning?

Perhaps they started out in designing fashion when they were very young.

I'm looking for a few answers to these questions, and searching the net, I read something about Christian Dior's biography that greatly surprised me. Let me share this with you.

Christian Dior was born January 21, 1905, in Granville, a seaside town on the Normandy coast, France. As far as possible from fashion or fashion jobs Dior's family made their money in the fertilizer industry. His father was Alexandre Louis Maurice Dior, a wealthy fertilizer manufacturer.

Christian was the second of five children. He lived a peaceful childhood on the hills, with his family in a pretty pink and grey house perched high on a cliff with spectacular views over the sea. As soon as 1910, they decided to move to Paris, only returning to the family house for holidays every summer. Growing up, the young Christian was soon interested in music, drawing and creating costumes. In fact Dior began by designing women?s clothing for his sisters; in his early teens he won a prize for a fancy dress costume he designed for a ball. After the First World War, he evolved in the artistic circles in Paris and befriended some of them such as Max Jacob and Jean Cocteau.

He wanted to be an architect, but these weren't his parents' expectations. To fulfill such expectations, he began to study political science at the Ecole des Sciences Politiques for three years, from 1923 through 1926. Christian's parents wanted him to become a diplomat. However, he knew from an early age this was not his passion.

The French designer Christian Lacroix once recalled an anecdote that Dior had told him: "My mother says that when I was a little boy my grandfather used to take me and my cousins on one side after dinner and ask us what we wanted to be when we grew up, and I'd say, I want to be ?Christian Dior'.

All Dior longed to do was to work in the arts. In 1928, he left school to open an art gallery. He could do it thanks to his father's money, but without his whole blessing. Mr. Alexander gave him the funds but he explicitly demanded an important condition: he forbade him using the family name in relation to the gallery.

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