Christian Dior

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Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996 - Costume design - 201 pages
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Dior's career came at the fulcrum of the twentieth century. He successfully combined the historicism of the late-nineteenth-century Belle Epoque with the aesthetic and technical innovations of his own time. In Dior's works, what outwardly seems sheer romance and poetry is strengthened by structural underpinnings that demonstrate deep knowledge of craft. And while each collection is individualized even by name, the overall work created during the eleven years Dior built his art can be seen as a unit of interwoven development. From the inception of The New Look on February 12, 1947, until the designer's death in 1957, Dior was the definitive force in fashion. In addition, his corpus was to become an overriding influence on subsequent fashion. Authors Richard Martin and Harold Koda, curator and associate curator, respectively, of The Costume Institute, present that corpus chronologically, and they also consider each piece as an artistic attainment and the whole as an artistic enterprise. Dior is viewed through his personal aesthetic: attention is paid to his deliberate stylistic evolution, his historicism, and his characteristic style gestures, called "Diorisms". Thus, Dior is reconsidered as a designer of artistic conviction and cautious style. Without denying Dior his magic, the photographs and texts in this book show him as a designer of skilled system and intelligence. The suite of more than 150 photographs, made expressly for this volume and published here for the first time, document the greatest collection of Dior's work in the world, which resides in The Costume Institute.

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Foreword by Philippe de Montebello
1 Introduction

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About the author (1996)

Martin is Curator of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Harold Koda is Curator of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City needs no introduction. It is the preeminent art museum in the Americas and rivaled by few European museums. In fact, for sheer quality and breadth of collection, it has no equal.

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