Star of the show

Two months after the launch of the Miss Dior perfume in 1949, the Miss Dior dress made its debut as number 89 in the Dior spring couture collection in February 1949. Initially, it was described as an evening gown embroidered with ‘mille fleurs‘. It is thought that Christian Dior had his sister Catherine in mind when he designed this dress. A tribute to her love of flowers.

Christian Dior: Miss Dior dress Image: Pinterest

Let’s take a closer look at a sample of the hundreds of delicate fabric flowers that cover the dress. Exquisitely hand-sewed petals of rose, lilac, lily of the valley and forget-me-not blue are interwoven with tiny green satin leaves.

Christian Dior: Miss Dior Dress – petal detail IMAGE: Pinterest

The elegantly flared skirt is supported by six layers of petticoat. It was the star of the show. Dior’s favourite in the collection.

Christian Dior: Model wearing Miss Dior gown and Christian Dior IMAGE: Google

One of the most sort after models of the 1940s and 50s, Barbara Mullen, is photographed here by Lillian Bassman wearing the “Miss Dior” dress – every layer of petticoat doing its duty.

Christian Dior: Barbara Mullen photographed by Lillian Bassman

An equally iconic photograph of the dress is the one taken by photographer Patrick Demarchelier. Note the presence of the Miss Dior fragrance supported by the left hand of the model.

Christian Dior: Miss Dior dress, Haute Couture Spring-Summer 1949
© Patrick Demarchelier. Courtesy of Dior

Dior observed: “The seasons determine the rhythm of nature, the new dresses must bloom just as naturally as the blossom on an apple tree.” Clearly, the creation of the ‘Miss Dior’ dress is true to Dior’s vision.