Christian Dior, the legendary French fashion designer, caused a worldwide sensation in 1947, in a Paris still groping to recover from the devastations of wartime occupation. Reintroducing the flowing, ankle-length skirt, Dior gave women back their long-lost sense of freedom, femininity, and joie de vivre. Dior's collection with its pinched waste and generous folds of fabric, was dubbed the "New Look" by the press, especially the American fashion journalists. Dior was crowned "The King of Fashion," and he immediately reestablished Paris as the center of the fashion world.
For the next thirty years the House of Dior, with its subdued and refined pearl-gray, velvet covered walls and its gray carpeting, played host to aristocrats, stars of stage and film, and glitterati from around the world--the Duchess of Windsor, Olivia de Havilland, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, and Ingrid Bergman, to name a few. Dior's daily inspiration emanated from the world of the intellectual and artistic elite, in which he moved with such people as Erik Satie, Francis Poulenc, Henry Suguet, Jean Cocteau, and Raoul Dufy. With elegance, precision, and impeccable research, Marie-France Pochna recreates this one-of-akind world of glamour and luxury and situates Dior's fairy-tale career in the rich tapestry of Paris cultural life.