Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996 - Art - 201 pages
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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Published 50 years after Christian Dior's "New Look" of 1947, and accompanying an exhibition at The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, this book presents a chronology of Dior's creations. They are drawn chiefly from The Costume Institute's collections, which include an extensive record of the designer's achievement as recognized by his New York clients of the 1940s and 1950s. Among the illustrations are extravagant evening wear, chic accessories, and details of Dior tailoring, as well as documentary photographs from the Dior Archives, Paris. The text places Dior's achievement in the cultural perspective of postwar renewal: the desire for optimism, the return to innocence, and the reclaiming of the pleasures of fine clothing and other sumptuary arts. Analyzing the "New Look," the authors set out to demonstrate the abiding impact of Dior's formulation of an icon for fashion's postwar renaissance.