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26 November

Under the Christmas tree idea

From the House’s beginnings, in 1947, and over almost thirty years, Richard Avedon would immortalize Christian Dior creations in images that have become legendary. The newly-released book Dior by Avedon, published by Rizzoli, retraces this special relationship through a host of emblematic photographs. 1947 was a year of firsts. It marked Christian Dior’s debut haute couture show, and was also the year that Richard Avedon made his first visit to Paris, and while there photographed several of the House’s creations, again for the first time. In one of these photos the model Renée twirls in her Corolle skirt before gobsmacked passers-by on the Place de la Concorde. With a striking yardage of fabric, the boldness of this ultra-feminine outfit, with its unapologetic volume and the visual shock it created at that moment in time, perfectly captured the exciting essence of the New Look, in a snapshot with a fresh immediacy. Season after season, Richard Avedon continued to focus his lens on highlighting the architecture of the Dior designs. In 1952, the geometry of an ensemble from the Profilée line was accentuated through a subtle composition, in front of a graffiti-covered wall. But the most emblematic series of Avedon’s Paris fashion photographs were unquestionably those of the model Dovima posing in a long sheath dress between the elephants of the Cirque d’Hiver menagerie in 1955, for Harper’s Bazaar. An iconic image, and one whose story we will be revealing to you tomorrow. After Christian Dior’s untimely passing, Richard Avedon continued to work with the House, as attested to by his portrait of Yves Saint Laurent hand-in-hand with Suzy Parker, or the 1961 shot of Marc Bohan surrounded by, among others, the shoe designer Roger Vivier and Mitzah Bricard, Christian Dior’s ultimate and eternal muse. The photographer enjoyed discovering new faces, such as China Machado and Jean Shrimpton, whom he captured in Dior in 1964, and also loved to work with Twiggy, Veruschka, Penelope Tree, and all the exciting era’s other major models, whom he immortalized in Dior, some of them several times. This thrilling tale is told in images and through the recollections of Jacqueline de Ribes, that emblematic figure figure, as well as through the learned pens of Justine Picardie, author and editor-in-chief of British Harper’s Bazaar, and Olivier Saillard, fashion historian and director of the Palais Galliera, who wrote the afterword. Get your copy HERE