November 01, 2014
Long before the ‘Kate effect’, Princess Margaret whipped the nation into a fashion frenzy when she became the poster girl for Christian Dior’s designs in the 1950s. For Dior, an ardent Anglophile, the love affair was mutual, culminating in a spectacular fashion show at Blenheim Palace 60 years ago
The name is synonymous with Dior, today's high fashion, because it is early in February 1947, Dior launched his first series. His full skirt, wasp waist celebrity dresses and coats are moments, not only in Paris, but across the Channel hit: After years of rationing and austerity, the UK is hungry charm. Vidio nothing more charming Parisian style. Even the royal family - perhaps most importantly - is curious to see the new look, everyone is talking about.
British society went mad Dior, but less well documented, the French fashion designer is an avid Anglophile. Visit to London, at age 21, he wrote: "When a British woman is beautiful, she is more beautiful than any woman I like English nationality, wearing only suits them so well, and in those flowing prom dresses uk in. subtle colors, they have a unique wear from Gainsborough days in tweed. "
Dior accept the traditional English, English manners, English-style architecture. (His Worship "English breakfast, and his mother, in his hometown of Granville in Normandy, and even tried to retire with a British colonel's daughter, but he was not interested in him strangely ......) in his 20 a bit older, bowler hat became his bohemian friends DERNIER CRI, because they copied the style of the Bloomsbury set in 1920s Paris. he spent the war in the occupied Paris, dressed as an Englishman in shoelaces, gray flannel suit (in buttonhole a cornflower) and a bowler hat.
This mutual love may explain why Dior presented his second series, in the autumn of 1947, at the Savoy Hotel in London. Some people receive such praise, the queen (the late Queen Mother) requires an independent private viewing the next morning for the royal family, including her daughter, Princess Margaret. "She crystalline Royalty whole crazy popular interest," Dior wrote. "She was a real fairy tale princess, delicate, graceful, delicate."
This is perfect timing, but also the beginning of a great love story fashion for beautiful princess, who would visit him later ordered some clothes in Paris - among them a long white evening dresses, she was photographed by Cecil ratio Dayton for her 21st birthday in 1951: "all my favorite clothes," she recalls. Today's "Kate effect" is not new: many design was being sold "As for wearing a princess," so she's interested in Dior caused a reporter sensation.
Therefore, it is in the fall of 1954, with the rationing of and Margaret's sister Elizabeth's throne as the new young queen, the stage for a more spectacular fashion show scheduled. Sixty years ago next week, Dior presented his winter collection in Paris in Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, with the princess as a guest of honor.
One of the coronation, and the idea of this program Churchill, 25 (now 85-year-old Mrs. Rose Mary Muir), who had been the Queen's six maids of honor last year - when his wife at home in Blenheim Rose Mary Spencer her mother, Mary, Duchess of Marlborough. "She went to take a look at Dior in Paris and fixed the whole thing with him," recalls his wife Rosemary. Duchess went to her as a uniformed general of the Red Cross, which Dior love, even if she is not considered a fashion piece (palace photographer Cecil Beaton described her as "not being camera flattered '). Dior the idea was sold, and the date is fixed, the presentation will be held at the British Red Cross assistance.
November 3, "Paris came to Blenheim," Daily Telegraph ", by air and rail ...... saying cloud Dior perfume Oxford car, through the busy rural scene, smoke and red leaves scent. They met the first stately palace staged cheongsam show. "There are 1600 guests, everyone pay 5 gold coins. "We are wearing it; it is an incredibly big thing," remembers his wife Rosemary, who sat in the front row near the day celebrities, including her sister-in-law Blandford and Astor Lady Marchioness.
Princess Margaret arrived wearing black velvet and a mink stole, as the Blenheim organ played the national anthem and the ‘marseillaise’. At 4pm she took her seat on the front row, and the 13 models (12 French, one English) presented Dior’s winter collection and the distinctive new H-line shape with its figure-defining dropped waist: 100 garments in total including ‘la robe Blenheim’, a pink satin evening gown designed especially for the occasion. They processed – to the music of the organ – into the Long Gallery, curtseyed to the princess, then stepped backwards for a dozen paces before carrying on through the state rooms. They walked, past marble colonnades and walls hung with famous tapestries commissioned by John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, from the master-weavers in Brussels to celebrate his victories over – ironically – the French.
‘Everyone’s mouths were open at the sheer loveliness of it all,’ remembers Lady Rosemary. ‘There were no singers or dancing to jazz the thing up…but the models were fantastic. They were models! They were beautiful, beautiful girls. Their hair was beautifully done…and the clothes were unbelievable. There were day clothes, cocktail dresses, ending up with ball dresses as the finale. The clothes were what people hadn’t seen since before the war. Some of us had never seen anything like that at all. We were still using clothing coupons!’
The next day the papers reported some of the comments overheard coming from the audience: ‘I tried to do my hair like that but it always falls down.’
‘I see what they mean by a long body – but what happens if you haven’t got a long body?’
‘I wonder why the girl doesn’t look silly in that hat – I should.’
And from the men: ‘Thank heaven they are not for sale.’
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