Christian Dior: Destiny: The Authorized Biography
After a quick perusal through Amazon, this reader found well over 20 titles devoted to Christian Dior, the man, the brand, and just about any tangential subject attached to the name, including his autobiography. This loyal and addicted fashion reader can easily state that there is no other brand or designer who has been given this amount of attention and this amount of ink.
Yet here we have Christian Dior: Destiny: The Authorized Biography to add to the already heaving list of titles dedicated to the designer himself. This almost 500-page colossus of a biography promises new insights into the man, both personal and professional, and supposedly offers a new perspective on his legacy.
One of the first revelations that comes to light is that young Christian took great credence in what fortune tellers and clairvoyants told him as a teenager; one especially prescient once told him “you will be very important to women.”
As any reader plods through this epic volume, it might suddenly occur to them that how is it possible for anyone to know what a 10 year old, 15 year old, or for that matter 20 year old was thinking around the turn of the 20th century? Pochna has either extrapolated or merely assumed the inner most thoughts of this man. There are no survivors among his peers, certainly from childhood, and there was no internet, so the deep dive and dissection of Dior’s personal life suddenly starts to gnaw at the provenance of such “facts.”
Yes, there are morsels that one has never read about previous to this telling, but there is so much minutiae, as you can imagine, to fill a nearly 500-page biography. This reader wants to know why is it important to know all of this and how much of what we read is supposition rather than actual fact. Dior, as a company, is well known for holding a notoriously tight rein on publications about the designer and the company, but readers should take Monsieur Dior’s autobiography as the most factual and most authentic telling of his life.
To say the least, this is no easy-breezy read as it is filled with all sort of names, places, and happenings that we have previously read about or have never come to light . . . and with good reason. If you are a history buff more than a fashion reader and need to know every personal detail and aspect of his life, this is a book that will be your cup of tea, but it is doubtful that the true aficionados of fashion will not need to or want to read so much ephemera about this once-in-a-generation designer.