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May 24, 2016

34 Rarely Seen Photos That Capture the Lavish and Iconic Gowns of Christian Dior From the 1950s and 1960s

Iconic photographer Mark Shaw documented the ultra-exclusive Parisian fashion world, focusing on Paris’s long-standing top couturier Christian Dior. Shaw’s photographs—some of the first fashion photographs ever shot in color—capture the most stunning and extraordinary fashion of the era.

This lavish volume embodies the glamour of that time, from rare moments of Christian Dior during fittings to editorial-style photographs of models, socialites, and actresses posing in Dior’s ballgowns, day suits, and haute couture collections. Shaw’s photojournalistic style changed fashion photography forever: his approach was to photograph wide, giving the subject a sense of context, creating an environment as exquisitely transformative as the subject and garment.

With an eye for intimacy and opulence, these color and black-and-white photographs, many never published before, having only recently been found in a secret vault by his estate. The photographs capture the drama and elegance of the period’s style and will be treasured by lovers of photography, fashion, style, history, and cultured living.

House of Dior-Gainsborough Girls, 1956. Captured here on a rare moment in the studio are models wearing gowns and day dresses from DIor's S/S 1956 collection.

Sophie Malgat in Apartment of Christian Dior, 1953. Shot here in the Paris apartments of Chrtistian Dior in 1953 is model Sophie Malgat–the wife of the film directorAnatole ‘Tola’ Litvak–was one of the rare models who starred on the catwalk and had “cover girl” status in magazine editorial. Shaw photographed Malgat in the Jardin d’Hiver of Monsieur Dior’s hotel particulier on boulevard Jules Sandeau in Paris’s 16th arrondissement. She wears an evening dress, from Dior's Autumn-Winter 1953 Haute Couture collection, Vivante line.

Kouka in Beaded Dior-Paris, 1961. Captured here on the streets of Paris after dark is Argentine model Kouka wearing a beaded Ciel de Feu dress from Dior's 1961 A/W collection.

Christian Dior in Paris Atelier, 1954. Captured in the Grand Salon of his Paris Flagship is Monsieur Dior adjusting jewels on the model Victoire's neck in preparation for a couture show in 1954. She wear's Zaire dress from A/W Haute Couture Collection.

House of Dior-Model in Metallic Dress-Back, 1953. Captured here in the grand salon of Dior's Paris flagship in 1953 is a model tending to buyers. She is seen from the back posing in a Vivante Haute Couture dress. Her matching gloves are extended.

House of Dior-The First 13 Diors, 1953. Captured on the famed stairwell of Dior's Paris flagship. Thirteen was Monsieur Dior’s favorite number and being highly superstitious, it explained why there were thirteen models in his Cabine.

House of Dior-Alla with Illustrator, 1954. Captured here inside the Dior flagship in 1954 is star model Alla, decked out in Dior’s evening finery called Artamène. She is being sketched by Carl Erickson for American Vogue, best known as Eric. To give an accurate account of the Paris collections, in-house models were expected to pose, wearing the latest looks.

House of Dior Bride #1, 1953. Captured in the Dior's Paris flagship in 1953 is famed Dior model Victoire in Félicité dress, Autumn-Winter 1953 Haute Couture collection. She is seen attending to buyers from a UK department store.

Model in Home of Christian Dior, 1953. Shot in 1953 is a model inside the sumptuous home of Christian Dior. Shaw captured her in DIor's salon, decorated by Victor Grandpierre, the interior designer responsible for Dior’s flagship. This reception room was exquisitely arranged, flaunting a superior collection of Napoleon III trappings. The model wears an evening dress from the Autumn-Winter 1953 Vivante line.

Models in Couture with Carousel, 1957. Seen here at the children's playground at the Bois de Boulogne are models in day time dresses by (L-R) by designers Dior, Laroche, Cardin, Lanvin-Castillo and Patou. Shaw shot this for LIFE in 1957.

Models in Couture on Miniature Train, 1957. Captured here on the miniature train at the Bois de Boulogne in 1957 are models in gowns by designers (L-R) are Lanvin-Castillo, Cardin, Dior, Laroche, Lanvin-Castillo, Cardin, Laroche and Patou.

Model in Apartments of Suzanne Luling, 1960. Seen here in the apartments of Suzanne Luling, Dior's right hand and elusive directrice- is model Christa Vogel wearing Théâtre de France dress, from Dior Spring-Summer 1960 Haute Couture collection.

Dior in Apartment of Francine Weisweiller, 1960. Shaw captured this model in 1960 in the salon of the hotel particulier of style icon Francine Weisweiller. She is wearing a Dior day ensemble.

Model in Dior Mesh Hat-Paris, 1960. Seen here in the Paris apartments of interior design legend Henri Samuel is model Christa Vogel in Dior Kabylie dress and metallic mesh hat from Dior's Spring-Summer collection, 1960. Shaw captured Vogel in the salon of Samuel's home, which was known for it's usage of 18th century furnishings.

House of Dior-Seated Model with Cane, 1954. Captured here is a model wearing Conspiration ensemble, Autumn-Winter 1954 Haute Couture collection. She is seated in the grand salon of Dior's flagship. This model was fired from the house of Dior soon after this photo was taken, for modeling too unconventionally.

House of Dior-Couture Show, 1954. Here Mark Shaw captures the action front and center During the A/W 1954 Haute Couture collection. Model Victoire is seen in "Amadis" evening ensemble.

House of Dior-Smoking Model in Grand Salon. Captured here in 1954 in the grand salon of Dior's Flagship is model Renee, who was one of Monsieur Dior's favorites. In his memoirs, Dior wrote, "Every dress she puts on seems to be a success,” Renée proportions were said to be so perfect that they were shop mannequin-like.

House of Dior-Models Under Wraps, 1953. Seen here in front of the Dior Flagship in 1953 are three models under wraps-illustrating the secret nature of Dior's latest creations. When Monsieur Dior’s models hit the streets, they were always covered up and hidden. This was to prevent new outfits from being copied; the designer’s obsessive and lingering fear after each collection. During that period, copyrighting and selling paper patterns became an important percentage of Dior’s couture business.

House of Dior-Autumn/Winter 1954. Seen here is a model wearing couture from Dior's controversial H Line in 1954. Christian Dior’s H-Line silhouette was a shock and a rupture from his New Look shape.It deliberately flattened the bosom to enhance a molded, elongated shape that certain Dior fans found unfeminine.

House of Dior-Models in Metallic Dresses, 1953. Seen here inside the grand salon at Dior's flagship in are two models in metallic day dresses from the Autumn-Winter Vivante Haute Couture line in 1953.

House of Dior- Autumn/Winter Couture, 1954. Seen here inside Dior's flagship in 1954 is a model in an H Line Suit from Dior's Autumn Winter collection. Seamstresses can be seen sitting on the stairwell behind her.

YSL for Dior - Model in Lola Gown with Mask, 1958. Captured here is a masked model in a 1958 Lola Haute Couture gown by YSL for Dior-this would have been St. Laurent's second collection for the house.

House of Dior-Kouka in Wedding Dress, 1961. Shaw captured famed Argentine model. Kouka modeling Marc Bohan’s wedding dress in Dior’s Grand Salon during a salon show. In her opinion, “the fashion house was temple-like” in its world, meaning good taste and general excellence.

Dior Fur Hat -Paris, 1954. Seen here is model Eugenie Mauffret modeling gown and fur hat from Dior's Autumn/Winter 1954 Haute Couture, H Line collection. Shaw captured her on the famed Dior stairwell inside 30 Avenue Montaigne.

House of Dior-Model with Buyers-Color, 1953. Captured inside Dior's flagship in 1953, fledgling designer John Moore is shown with his employer Mattie Talmack, the owner of the esteemed American couture house. Talmack, reputed for buying patterns from the best Parisian couture houses, explains the significance of Dior’s new flat look as viewed on the model Odile.

Lee Radziwill in Dior Coral Dress, 1960. Mark Shaw shot a major photo feature for LIFE magazine on style icon (and Jackie Kennedy's sister) Lee Radziwill in 1960. Radziwill can be seen here in the office of her London apartment. She is wearing a coral colored day dress by Dior.

Models in Beaded Dior Gowns- Paris, 1961. Shaw captured these models in night scape on the streets of Paris, wearing beaded gowns from Ondine and Ciel de feu, Autumn-Winter 1961 haute couture collection.

Jaqueline de Ribes At Home in Dior, 1959. Captured magnificently by Shaw, in the salon of her Paris hotel particulier, is style legend Jaqueline de Ribes in a peach silk Dior Ibis Dress from Haute Couture collection, S/S 1959.

House of Dior-Model with Buyers-B-W, 1953. Here Shaw captures the action during an after show buying opportunity in the Dior flagship. The model is wearing a Vivante haute couture dress from Dior's A/W 1953 collection. Buyers had to pay a fee to attend Christian Dior’s in-demand shows as well as buy an annotated number of outfits. Due to the enormously high prices – Dior was the most expensive couturier in Paris – every piece of clothing was studied to a maximum degree before being ordered.

House of Dior-Kouka with Gloves, 1959. Captured here in Dior's flagship in 1959 is Argentine model, Kouka wearing a Novia dress from Dior's S/S 1959 Haute Couture Collection. Within her first season at Dior, the Argentinean-born Kouka became a star. Initially used by Yves Saint Laurent for his premier collection – “I was his muse,” she says – few could forget her dramatic appearance. First, there were her wide Latin eyes enhanced by her Soeurs Carita style bob, and then there was the Kouka catwalk performance that consisted of walking with thrust-out hips.

Dior Ruffeled Gown-Paris, 1960. Model/Actress Elsa Martinelli wearing a ruffeled gown by Christian Dior in the countryside outside of Paris.

Christian Dior, 1954. A whimsical moment captured by Mark Shaw front and center at the Christian Dior couture show in Paris in 1954.

Models in Dior - Pont Alexandre lll. Captured here in 1953 at Paris' Pont Alexandre III are three models strolling the bridge's adjoining quay in Dior couture.

Captured here in 1953 at Paris' Pont Alexandre III are three models strolling the the bridge's adjoining quay in Dior couture.

1 comment:

  1. Such stunning gowns! They truly don't make them like they used to. Thank you for sharing.




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