.Last week Sarah Burton unveiled her Pre-Fall Collection for ALEXANDER MCQUEEN. The details are pure Couture. As in the startling New Look from Christian Dior's first ever collection. Dior cinched the waist, softened shoulders and gave the ladies full skirts-very full skirts. Feminine. Romantic. Pretty.
Remember this was a war weary sartorial world.
“a gathering of swans, an aloof armada . . . their feathers floating away over the water like the trailing hems of snowy ball-gowns” from the 19th century journal of Patrick Conway- that prompted Capote's naming of the Swans.
Capote would elaborate in detail on his swans in photographer Richard Avedon’s book Observations.
The most elegant and memorable interiors of the decade were not Of the decade- No, No-but of another era defined by elegance and romance- the Watteau painting, the curves of a Louis XV fauteuil. When they did up their rooms however they looked for comfort and light-in this they differed from these more formal Versailles interiors.
Today- Lifestyles don't adapt nearly so well to Dior's New Look. What can we take away from Its idea? Certainly how we live as much as how we dress is important.
Suggestion-Pare down some of the wacky 50's decor in rooms-add the comfortable fauteuil in an oversize check, a Indiennes print. Take cues from Billy Baldwin's decoration of the Paley apartments at the St. Regis. Refine.
Enter Bill Gaytten with his Spring Couture Collection for CHRISTIAN DIOR that is pure DIOR, & isn't that Appropriate? The beauty of the workroom as seem in The Day Before Dior- by Stephanie LaCava with photographs by Greg Kessler from T Magazine here
Beautiful. Feminine. Is there something in the air besides Spring? Women are ready for the breezy prettiness of full skirts. Sheer sleeves and gloves- Yes please to gloves. No collection exhibits that femininity more than Christian Dior's Couture Collection for Spring & Summer in 1957 & no photograph captures that collection more than Cecil Beaton's ladder of preening mannequins in an elegant ballroom of gilded chairs- and Yes, the uber- sophisticated freshness of a lacquered Louis XV settee in Soigné grey.
& the SWANS- were still gliding over the ice skimmed lake of Narcissism.
Read the Met's Costume Institute Christian Dior Fashion Bio here
more Marella Agnelli here STYLE.com
more Babe Paley here VOGUE.com
photographs: the New Look silhouette 1947, Babe Paley photograph by Erwin Blumenfeld from Vogue.com (sited above), Dior fashion in the French Room, & from the collection of images- from the pages of Vogue- Dior ads and drawings from Rene Gruau, Alexander McQueen's Pre-Fall Collection from Vogue.com here, & the interiors of P Gaye Tapp, Vere Grenney, Billy Baldwin and Jansen and Sister Parish, the bedroom of Marella Agnelli, Turin Italy. portraits of Babe Paley and Marella Agnelli by Richard Avedon.
& 1,2-photographs by Greg Kessler. 3 -photograph by Pascal Le Segreta
photographs: The Spring 2012 Colletion of DIOR, Cecil Beaton's photograph of Christian Dior 1957 Spring Collection, CZ Guest New Year's Eve 1956. image collection 2-Cecil Beaton's photograph of Christian Dior 1957 Spring Collection, Vogue.com Christian Dior Spring 2012 Couture