Women in Dior: Portraits of Elegance

Image of Women in Dior: Portraits of Elegance
Release Date: 
September 5, 2016
Reviewed by: 

There seems to be no end to the attraction to and fascination with the designer Christian Dior as well as his maison, his oeuvre, and his clientele. What matters most is that each new book focuses on a particular facet of his body of work and that is why each book becomes a stand-alone reading gem within the genre.

Laurence Benaim has opted to address the specificity of Dior haute couture by featuring some of Dior’s most faithful, legendary, and in some cases unknown ladies. They are those who lived and died, so to speak, while shopping chez Dior, whether with the eponymous designer or those who came after.

This is one of those books that must actually be read as the photos, while rarely if ever have been seen in other Dior paeans, only tell half the story. Benaim explores and expands upon the “intime” relationships that Monsieur Dior, his brand, and those who came after him shared with their clients, staff, and friends. The more astute reader or fashion enthusiast will take note of how that differs in large part from what we call our current day couturiers.

Without question, this book will shed new light on the master couturier’s life as well as the practices of the maison in ways that other books of this genre have only hinted at. He (CD) was dedicated to making women feel beautiful. In so doing he was able to accomplish this by interacting with and advising them while making their sartorial choices.

He was a jewel of a man who left us too soon but he left behind a life, a legacy, and a body of work that has ceaselessly been examined and dissected.

Women in Dior also serves as a catalog for an exhibit being shown at the beloved home of Dior in Granville, which will close September 25, 2016.