In his book, Dior By Dior, the couturier describes the childhood garden that was to shape his lifelong aesthetic. Here, an extract:
I have the tenderest and most wonderful memories of my childhood home. It's not an exaggeration if I say that my very life and style owe almost everything to its location and its architecture. My parents, as a young married couple, bought it a year or two after I was born. It stood on a cliff top, initially alone, but since joined by many other buildings, and in the middle of a fairly large plot of land - which today is a public park - planted with young trees that grew as I grew, strong against the winds and the tides. Hanging right over the sea, which was hard to miss through the railings, it was exposed to every atmospheric upset, mirroring in its way my own far from calm life.
A pine wood - that must have been only about fifty centimeters tall - was a virgin forest to my childish eyes. And it's held that same wonder for me, even though the trees soar far over my head now. But the walls that surrounded this garden, like the rules that regimented my childhood, were never enough to protect us from every storm.