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A fashion house that have been defining the modern woman look for more than half a century

Review of Dior

Product range. The pieces by Dior are femininity par excellence. They put emphasis on understated refinement, in juxtaposition with the oozing sexuality of Dolce & Gabbana and the playful romanticism of Valentino. Skirts and dresses reign supreme there: none of the 55 looks in Autumn/Winter 2016 collections features trousers. Dior designers prefer bright colours with floral prints making frequent appearances.

Runway collections by Dior merit special notice. Some fashionistas prefer the John Galliano's flavour of Dior, while others worship that by Raf Simons. Whoever is currently at the helm, all Haute Couture collections by Dior are full-fledged pieces of fashion art that blend rich brand heritage, the latest trends, and a Creative Director's vision.

As is common with luxury heavyweights, a lion's share of their profits is generated by beauty products, fragrances, accessories, and leather goods. As for leather handbags, every luxury house worth its name has a signature It bag to its credit. Think 2.55 by Chanel, Birkin by Hermes, and Miss Dior by Dior. This latter classy bag and its numerous counterfeits are hyped by everybody from nouveaux riches to the First Ladies of the United States.

Chic. Dior is one of those few century old fashion houses that manage to preserve their DNAs and still are considered as trendsetters. This is as true of Dior's ready-to-wear collections, as it hold for their runway collections. The signature 'New Look' silhouette has been ingenious reinvented with each new collection for decades.

Originality. Absolutely.

Pricing. Exorbitant, by any standard. Ready-to-wear Dior dresses never cost less than £1,000. Womenswear is sold exclusively through brick and mortar Dior boutiques. Beauty products, fragrances, accessories, bags, and menswear are carried by department stores like Harrods and Barneys, and available from multi-brand online stores.

Corporate history highlights. Christian Dior, a graduate of École des Sciences Politiques, before embarking on a career in fashion ran a small art gallery that handled Derain, Matisses, and Picassos, and later made his living by selling fashion sketches of dresses and millinery. His life was never easy, however. In 1931, a disastrous year for the Diors, he was forced to close the gallery after the collapse of his father's fertilizer manufacturing business and the death of both his mother and his older brother. By 1939, Christian Dior had already made his mind to devote himself to fashion, but his plans were ruined by the outbreak of the Second World War. All the difficulties and wartime restrictions notwithstanding, in 1947 he showcased his maiden collection. The newly established eponymous fashion house armed with the then edgy New Look concept took the fashion world by storm.

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