It was at Granville, in Normandy, in a villa perched at the top of a cliff, overlooking the sea, that Christian Dior developed his sense of the wonder. In this setting, his childhood was filled with the Fairytales of Charles Perrault, illustrated by Gustave Doré, and punctuated by fancy dress balls, flower festivals and carnivals. Having become a couturier, Christian Dior never ceased to drawn inspiration from his childhood memories. So, when he has the opportunity to please the three daughters of his friend Pierre Colle, Beatrice, Sylvia and Marie-Pierre, of whom he is the godfather, he does not hesitate to show inventiveness. For Christmas 1949, he offered girls New Look designs in miniature for their dolls. He also imagines a complete trousseau for a bather. What was only an entertainment for Christian Dior will gradually become an activity reserved for the most exceptional events, such as ceremonies of baptism or marriage.
Marc Bohan, then Creative Director of the House’s women's collections, adapted some of his creations for little girls. This is why, on 1 October 1961, Elizabeth Taylor appeared in London with her daughter, both dressed in violet coats lined with Dior mink. These were the first small steps of Baby Dior. It wasn't until November 7, 1967, at 28 Avenue Montaigne, just a few steps from the House’s historic address, that Marc Bohan inaugurated the first Baby Dior boutique, accompanied for the occasion by HRH Princess Grace of Monaco. With two collections per year and exclusive orders, Marc Bohan created an enchanting wardrobe for children, consisting of flounced dresses, flannel jumpsuits, mini ties, Russian-style buttoned pajamas, scarves and shoes embroidered with the “CD” initials.
In 2012, Cordelia de Castellane was named Creative Director of Baby Dior. She has made a point of honor of drawing her primary inspiration from the House's archives, with Christian Dior the protagonist of her fabulous stories. Season after season she explores the couturier’s memories, anecdotes and passions to create collections based around influences ranging from artist friends of his such as Jean Cocteau, or maybe the Impressionists, the sumptuous soirées he so loved or the Chateau de Versailles. Like Christian Dior in his day, the designer injects her work with a dose of humor, naming each piece individually. She also enjoys appropriating the House codes, such as the cannage motif and the rose, mixing them with unexpected materials and colors. The Baby Dior collections are modern and innovative, produced in beautiful materials, with the concept of comfort always paramount. And so, fifty years on, the Baby Dior legacy is perpetuated by Cordelia de Castellane, who designs collections still made in the same ateliers, located in Redon, Brittany.