It was sixty-seven years ago to the day - 12 February 1947 - that Christian Dior, as couturier-perfumer, presented his first fashion show and his first fragrance. We take a look back on a double revolution.
It could have been a winter's day like any other; instead, it was a revolution. On this 12 February 1947 Paris was numb from freezing cold, covered in a thick blanket of snow. Most of the chic clients and the editors who came every year from all over the world to admire the latest creations from the French couture had already left. And yet this was the day that Christian Dior had chosen for his very first fashion show. At the time a veritable unknown. Or almost. Certain people remembered the elegance of his illustrations that had appeared in the press and the dresses he had designed for the couturier Lucien Lelong. A curious public, intrigued by this newcomer to the world of haute couture, entered the salons of the building at 30 Avenue Montaigne. And, even before the show started, a surprise awaited the guests: a perfume that floated on the air, scenting the salons. With its notes of rose and oak moss, this utterly unique green chypre had nothing in common with the heavy perfumes of the period. This perfume that smelled of youth, love and joie de vivre was Miss Dior , a fragrance that would revolutionize the world of perfumery.
By the time the guests had taken their seats in this setting scented with the complex, chypre notes of Miss Dior , and the models swished into the salons to present the first looks, it was the moment for a much greater shock. No boxy jackets, no short and straight skirts, no trace of the dull austerity that was still everywhere since the end of the recent war. On the contrary, the outfits that passed by boasted the most striking proportions, exaggerating the curves of the female body with a level of extreme sensuality. "I designed flower-women, soft shoulders, proud busts, whittled-down waists and big skirts like spreading petals," the couturier remembered later in his autobiography. On that day, with a founding gesture that indelibly linked haute couture and haute parfumerie, Christian Dior revolutionized the world of luxury and redefined the essence of femininity with a spirit of daring that still drives the house today, sixty-seven years later.