Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Tu connais Dior ? #7

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Yo my OGs !

I hope everything is good with you. Im fine, its cool

Today I will talk about the life, the career, of the personality

Of a major figure in haute couture :

Christian Dior

So, its the story of Christian that Ill linger on

And Ill explain the story of his fashion house in another episode

Where are we now? On the 9th episode, the 7th TCLM

We could say that you and I are starting to become intimate

So you should know what I am going to start with

Quick curriculum

Born on January 21, 1905 in Granville, Normandie He grew up in a big villa

Les Rhumbs

Yes, that is the houses name

His family is rich Very, very rich

The needs, necessities and all that stuff He never new

They are 7, a large family

The father: Alexandre Louis Maurice Dior Head of a company

His fortune lies in fertilizers And everything that has to do with chemicals

The mother: Marie-Madeleine Juliette Martin Is a big fan of gardening

And it is her that will transmit her passion of flowers to Christian

Lets move on to the brotherhood

Christian is the 2nd son He has one big brother Raymond Dior

Well fun

Raymond bullied so much Christian in his childhood

That he ended up being crossed out of the little brothers testament

Ah, youre teasing me ?

He has two little sisters The first one Jacqueline

The second Ginette aka Catherine

She was his favorite Then again, that is normal

She was ultra tough

She was resistant She was caught by the Gestapo She was tortured

She didnt say a word Sent to a concentration camp She survived

She was decorated with the Legion of Honor

And he has a final brother : Bernard

Christian will describe his childhood as being idyllic

1912 the Dior family arrives at Paris in the 16th [district]

And it is at that moment that Christian would start following his mother

When she would go shopping

1914, World War I

The family goes back to Granville 1919, the end of WWI

They return to Paris And it is then that Christian draws to the artistic environment

He goes out with his artist friends

1923, he goes to SciencesPo. His parents had destined him for a life of diplomat

But he saw himself an architect And in 1928 his parents finally accept him dropping out

Can you imagine becoming a diplomat?

Christian had several lives before revealing himself to the world as DIOR The fashion designer

Were still in 1928, he just dropped out of college He has only one idea in his head

Open his own art gallery with his friend Jacques Bonjean

He managed convincing his parents to fund it But on one condition only

The name Dior cannot appear on the face of the gallery

Cool to be artist but not for my son

Everything rolls until 1930 When his brother Bernard is interned in a Psychiatric Hospital

The following year his mother dies of a sepsis

That was the official cause

But in the family everyone knew that it was because of his sons Bernard internment

Icing on the cake, his father is ruined thereafter And has to liquidate all their goods

And to close it up his partner goes bankrupt as well And the gallery closes

And that is how his phase of gallery owner ends And the phase of misery begins

1935 is tight Christian lives on the couch of his actor friend Jean Ozenne

Who was a fashion designer at the time He immediately grasps his talent

And teaches him everything he knows

Thanks to that he begins selling his first clothing sketches

And later he joins Figaro as an illustrator

Misery made him bloom after all

In parallel he starts freelancing as a stylist

And manages to sell some of his drawings to big houses such as: Balenciaga or Nina Ricci

1938, it is official, Chrichri becomes assistant designer of the big couturier Robert Piguet

He will sign 3 collections with him

Barely the time to make himself known, That in 1939 World War II starts

The Nazi are at our doors !

Chrichri will be deployed for one year Before returning and joining his father in the south at Caillan

1942, it has been 1 year since Chrichri returned to Paris And he begins to work with Pierre Balmain

For the famous designer Lucien Lelong

So, Mister Lelong, if you do not know him, Was the director of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne

And at the time he was the one who prevented the Germans from transferring the fashion industry to Berlin

Yes, he was someone !

Most success stories start with only one encounter

Here it is the one of Christian Dior and Marcel Boussac in 1946

He was a rich fabric manufacturer who immediately grasped Chrichris talent

And who decided to invest 70 million of old francs, on his head

In order for him to establish his own fashion house

Today it is the equivalent of approximately 100 000

On December 16 of the same year his fashion house sees the dawn of light at 30 Montaigne Avenue

But it wont be until February 17, 1947 that his first collection Spring/Summer will be presented

Composed of 90 looks All around the same inspiration and idea

To bring the feminine clothing to another level

The war had left heavy consequences And clothes were often reduced to a utilitarian function

Like the small black dress of Coco Channel Which was characterized by its practical side

He had 2 lines as reference for the forms of his outfits: The 8 and the Corolle

Corolle is kind of the form of the flower

But the name that history would retain is "New Look" thanks to Carmel Snow the editor-in-chief of "Harpers Bazaar"

Who would say after the show :

Right before she was dubious She even said:

I hope it is worth the trip

You get it I dont have to explain to you that it was a success

Of course I cannot tell you about the New Look

Without talking about the Tailleur Bar When we talk about the New Look

We think systematically of this silhouette So much so that it is iconic

Its name Tailleur Bar makes a direct reference to the fact that

It was conceived to be worn at the time of the apero because at the time women were still used to changing outfits several times a day

This look is composed of two pieces A shantung vest

Its a kind of silk

With rounded shoulders And the waist very slim and very pronounced

And a long black skirt with accentuated waves That falls 36cm from the ground

And it all crowned with a small hat

Dior goes all the way and to complete his vision of the new woman

The same year he launches the houses first perfume

Sensual, radiant, audacious these are the ideas that the perfume conveys

Since he wanted his first show to be perfect He decided to spray Miss Dior everywhere in the room

Before the show So that his silhouettes would instantly be associated with that smell

From a marketing point of view its genius Its not something that was being done at the time

There is a story behind the name "Miss Dior" A few days before his show

Chrichri still hadnt found a name for his perfume

Up to the point where his sister Catherine Arrived at his offices and his consultant Mitzah Bricard shouted:

Miss Dior is here !

I told you its his favorite

In spite of his enormous success Dior could not avoid controversy

And his New Look is highly critiqued for the amount of fabric he used up to 46 meters per silhouette

France had left the war We were still in a time of deprivation

The most diligent must have noticed that This echoes my previous episode about the Zoot Suits

And for the new ones I put the link right here

Like, follow

In the middle of a photo shoot in Montmartre People even started throwing fruits on the models

He had just joined the tight circle of haute couture legends and as you can imagine

All the stars started to wear his creations

Like Josephine Baker, Edith Piaf or Eva Pern

Ill take it a step further

There were even celebrities who would wear nearly nothing but Dior

Like Marilyn Monroe or Lauren Bacall

But there was one, she was a hardcore fan

Marlene Dietrich She was so into it that her contracts specified that in her movies she would only wear Dior

She even coined this iconic phrase: No Dior, no Dietrich

And she didnt say it to just anyone: Alfred Hitchcock

Here we go, uncle Chrichri was rolling

He was already being compared to the biggest of that time like Balenciaga

In 1948, that is a year after the New Look Dior establishes a location in New York

And opens "Christian Dior-New York Inc."

Uncle Chrichri intended to do more than just dressing women and he had already shown it with Miss Dior

Thus in 1953 he released his first lipstick "Rouge Dior"

But well have to wait until 1955 For him to release his first make-up collection

Composed of 22 lipsticks

Same year, ready to wear women shoes

But I wont lie to you in 1955 something much bigger happened than 22 lipsticks

The arrival of Yves Saint Laurent as assistant I wont tell you more, you know This will be a topic anyway

1956 Dior releases his memoirs Christian Dior and I

By the way, the book helped me immensely I recommend it highly

In 1957 Dior is the first fashion designer to make the cover of Time magazine

The same year he releases the Autumn/Winter collection "Fuseau" it is much more relaxed

And adapts to all situations of a womens day

The pieces of this collection, for the most part had neither corsets nor paddings and was much wider

This collection will be his last Christian Dior dies on 24 October, 1957

In Montecatini Terme in Italy Struck by a heart attack

He was 52 years old

Well, I just described his whole path to you From his childhood to his death

Now I will talk about his personality Of the man that he was

Because in order for you to understand the entirety of his myth you have to know the man behind the creator

Well then, here are 5 features That I think characterize uncle Chrichri the best

Number 1 His kindness

All the people that knew him agree on this

For example he would show much respect and much consideration with each one of his employees

He was a good guy A real good one !

During Christmas he would choose individually the gifts for the members of his teams

He made it a point of honor to foster a pleasant working atmosphere for everyone

A little bit like a family

By the way he treated each one of his models like his daughters

And always let people go first into the elevator

I know, you could tell me: Ah ! Gato youre exaggerating !

Well, no

Number 2 He was superstitious

Not just a bit It wasnt an obsession either


It was the thing who governed his life

For example before founding Dior He consulted a psychic Madame Delahaye

Who told him to start right away And before that, when he was younger

It was also a psychic who had told him That women would bring him success later on

He had always with him a bunch of lucky charms Like, in his pocket

You could find 2 pieces of wood That he would touch before each one of his shows

A four-leaf clover

A golden coin

And some lily of the valley

Its his favorite flower He took it to almost every collection

Prohibition of entering his office with an umbrella

I can imagine someone entering with an umbrella And he goes : NO ! NO !


He would always draw cards before each one of his shows

And in 2016 Maria Grazia Chuiri The current artistic director of Dior Femme

Paid him tribute by creating a collection Entirely on the tarot

Number 3 He was very loyal

And especially in friendship He likes to stay very close to some of his childhood friends

Number 4 Anxious and continually worried

He suffered much of insomnia his responsibilities brought him a lot of stress

He would alleviate himself with food and especially chocolate

He had developed the habit in 1948 To go clear his mind and to relax in his house

In Milly-La-Foret in the 91 [department]

He had even given a makeover to the priest at that time And Im not even kidding

Number 5 He was unfortunate

With love at least Uncle Chrichri would never find the big love he sought

He had always been confined to the role of good friend with the men that he had loved

Its on this note that ends the episode About the life of Christian Dior

I hope that you enjoyed watching it as much As I did making it

Write your thoughts in the comments But more importantly

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Next episode about Dior Well do all the rest about the fashion house, all the big artistic directors

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The Description of Tu connais Dior ? #7