The recent opening of a new boutique in Dallas inspires DiorMag to look back at the first big voyage undertaken by Christian Dior. It happened in 1947, only a few short months after the show that gave the world the New Look.
"In order to get to Dallas, I had to go to another world," he wrote in his memoirs. The year was 1947, and the man was far from being a great traveler, never happier than when he was in his gardens, starting in Granville as a small child, then the south of France... But the couturier he became a few months earlier, when he showed his first collections in the salons at 30, avenue Montaigne, meant that he would have to travel quite a lot. The New Look was a worldwide revolution, Christian Dior was a champion for the diversity of women, and so it only seemed proper that he should be going out and meeting them, meeting all the women who wanted to feel like a woman in Dior ! The first long-haul destination: Dallas, on the invitation of the department store Neiman Marcus which organized a ceremony in his honor to award him a so-called Oscar of Fashion, the most prestigious distinction in haute couture. First, he had to take the train from Paris to Cherbourg in order to board the Queen Elizabeth and sail across the Atlantic to New York. Then he had to take a plane - something he truly hated - to arrive, at last, in Dallas.
After Dallas and the honors, Christian Dior continued his American journey as a curious and wide-eyed traveler.
He flew to Hollywood and to San Francisco, and crossed the country by train to meet American women, heading to Chicago, Washington, and finally New York to catch the transatlantic liner that took him back to Europe, a converted Americanophile after his few weeks abroad, forever changed by what he had seen, and seduced by the high-maintenance chic of the women. "American women are impeccable", he stated in his autobiography. The following year, he donated one of the outfits from his first collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Ten years later, when Christian Dior made the cover of Time magazine, it was the first time the honor had been accorded to a couturier, and a certain pithy phrase made the rounds of the New York society circuit: "Christian Dior? But he's more famous than the president of the French Republic!" And it was true, without a doubt!
And so this great love affair between the United States and Christian Dior is now 66 years old. It was in Dallas that it all started. And so it's only natural that it should continue there.