Symbolizing the triumph of spring over winter, the lily-of-the-valley held a special extra dimension for Christian Dior. Highly superstitious, he always carried a piece of it in his pocket – among his other lucky charms – a dried sprig in a finely-wrought reliquary. The good-luck flower reminded him of his childhood spent in Granville, in the garden of the family home, a source of seemingly endless inspiration. In the shade cast by the arums, at the base of a wall leading to the sea, the delicate little white bells still abound in this secret spot chosen by the young Christian and his mother.
When he became a couturier he desired that his creations would render women ever happier and made this humble flower one of the codes of his House. His petites mains and his most important clients received them each May 1st. The love Monsieur Dior had for the lily-of-the-valley was so great that it required all the ingenuity of his florist to be able to supply him with a stock of them throughout the entire year! He would often wear one as a boutonniere, to bring him extra luck. In his collections, the lily-of-the-valley was just as seasonless. For spring 1954, he devoted an entire line to his favorite flower. “Young, soft and simple,” this new fashion alluded to a succession of floral bells through “the volume of the hat, volume of the bust, volume the skirt”. In winter as in summer, some of the outfits were shown with a few sprigs pinned to a jacket lapel or even sewn into the hem of a dress, in order to ward off bad luck. Woven, printed or embroidered, as for spring 1957 on the dress to which it gave its name Muguet in French, the lily-of-the-valley is a shy bloom whose delightful scent sadly cannot be extracted. In 1956, Christian Dior realized his dream of capturing its essence with his third perfume, Diorissimo. Today, this bringer of good luck continues to inspire the House’s collections, such as the haute couture spring-summer 2016 and the ready-to-wear autumn-winter 2016-2017 in which it flowered on skirts, jackets and dresses in the form of delicate embroideries.