Dior’s Amorous Affair With Russia

Christian Dior was a French couturier, famous for introducing alluring feminine designs to french woman, that earned him the title of being a visionary of “The New Look”, a look that freed woman from years of style constraint they endured during the war years. The House of Dior first opened in 1946; Dior’s designs created the illusion of cinched waists, and daringly revealed a hint of sexy ankle, for an ultra-feminine appeal.

Dior had a passion to dress woman the way he interpreted as beautiful. Many of us would rarely associate Russia with Dior, Dior is French, Russia is, well Russia– yet, the Frenchman inside of Dior had become amorous with Russia. It’s not hard to fall in love with a country famous for having the mysterious Russian Soul that gave birth to classic literature by the likes of Tolstoy, and Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin. Not only that, but the grandeur of Russia had left a strong impression on the young Christian Dior.

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“The Ballets Russes was triumphing at the Théâtre du Châtelet, and then at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, only meters from what would later become the house of Dior, at 30, Avenue Montaigne. And the most important members of the Romanov royal court came to spend long months in Paris where they threw splendid balls”- Dior Magazine

In 1931 the young twenty-six year old Christian Dior was drawn to Russia by the Russian artist Alexandre Rodtchenko, that dior first saw at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris a few years earlier. While in Moscow Dior’s Russian affair began as he saw the architecture; Russia became a place where Christian Dior discovered avant-garde buildings and “urbanism on a massive scale”.

Dior’s love affair with Russia lead to the creation of the iconic dresses like: the Prince Igor, Douchka , Caspienne, Caviar and Stravinsky; Dior’s architectural construction in his tailoring even captured the look of Russian modernism. In 1959 the Soviet Union allowed fashion shows, and Dior’s show happened to be the first foreign fashion show of its kind to take place in Moscow. The show took place in the House of culture “Wings of the Soviets”, with 11,000 invitations sent out to members of the Communist party and the Soviet elite. In order for regular people to get a glimpse of Dior’s collection, models walked the red square, and local markets. Photo’s of that day were captured by the photographer Howard Sochurke , who forever captured the day when cultures, and fashion collided. This long love story that joins Russia and the house of Dior continues, even with the passing of Christian Dior in 1957, he would have enjoyed the landmark event that took place in the country where his amorous affair first began.

dior-fashion-show-in-moscow-1959-021At Left: Dior’s Models shaking up Soviet the style scene in Moscow 1959. At Right: The iconic Prince Igor Dress (For more photo’s from the 1959 Dior Fashion Show here’s the link: Dior’s Moscow Fashion Show)

The Pravda daily wrote about the Dior event later, finding the styles to be too open, and short-, styles that would not look well on woman who have a shorter stature (implying woman in Russia were rather “short” and “stout” ). Another Soviet magazine scoffed at Dior’s narrowed skirts, and high heeled shoes, claiming that “Bourgeois fashion makers come up with such styles that the woman has difficulty walking and must wrap herself around her man.” -( I don’t have a problem with the last part of that claim, my lyubov should be letting me wrap myself around him if i’m wearing treacherously-deadly high heeled shoes, hehe).

Dior later returned to Moscow for their second ever fashion show in 2013- “Dior Walks the Red Square”. Dior put up giant Mirrored tents in the heart of Moscow to reflect the beauty of Russia, including St. Basil’s Cathedral, and the famous department store Gum.

When Christian Dior came to Russia in 1959 to show his collection at Moscow’s GUM department store, the reaction was as if space aliens had landed. Russian women were still recovering from the horrors of World War II. Many of them had lost their husbands and sons, so scraping together money to buy high heels wasn’t exactly a priority.

Thankfully, those times are behind us. Moscow is quickly becoming a fashion capital, and yesterday, Dior returned to the city to restage its Fall 2013 Show at the city’s most historic landmark, the Red Square. It was a celebration of beauty set inside a mirrored pavilion specially built for the occasion, not to mention the first time the Red Square has ever hosted a défilé. Style.com

Article-CR-RUSSIE-PAP_full-article-crop-middleDior Walks The Red Square 2013

“Everything was about reflecting, as evidence by the multiplicity of mirrored surfaces. And so this fashion show was a reflection of the one in March; and the event itself made reference to the one of 1959. But these reflections aren’t carbon copies, rather a stream of influences and inspirations. In the same way that the codes so dear to Monsieur Dior are to be found everywhere in the collections that Raf Simons is designing for the house today.” – Dior Magazine


I hope you enjoyed this love story Matryoshka’s, if you have any thoughts drop a comment below!!! 🙂

– Zaychishka


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