Christian Dior
(21 January 1905 – 23 October 1957)

Christian Dior was born in Granville, a seaside town on the coast of                                        
Normandy, France, the second of the five children of Maurice
Dior, a wealthy fertilizer manufacturer (the family firm was Dior Frères),
and his wife, the former Isabelle Cardamone. He had four
siblings: Raymond (father of Françoise Dior), Jacqueline, Bernard,
and Ginette (aka Catherine).[1] When Christian was about five
years old, the family moved to Paris, France, but still returned
to the Normandy coast for summer vacations.
Dior's family had hopes he would become a diplomat, but Dior was
artistic and wished to be involved in art. He was gay, though not openly so.
[2] To make money, he sold his fashion sketches outside
his house for about 10 cents each. In 1928, Dior left school and
received money from his father to finance a small art gallery,
where he and a friend sold art by the likes of Pablo Picasso. Three years
later, after the death of Dior's mother and brother and a financial
disaster in the family’s fertilizer business, during the Great
Depression, that resulted in his father losing control of
Dior Frères, the gallery had to be closed.
From then until about 1940 he worked with fashion designer
Robert Piguet, when he was called up for military service.

Paul Poiret (French Designer 1879 - 1944)
(Circa 1912) Poiret designed soft, loosely- fitting, more comfortable outfits
that didn't require petticoats or corsets.  Empire-line dresses with high-waists
replaced the tight restricting 'hour-glass' designs.  Simple chemises hung from
the shoulders, disregarded the emphasis on the female figure.  Cocoon
coats, some of which were made from a single skin, replaced closely-fitted
short styles which showed off the bust

Madeleine Vionnet: (French Designer 1876 - 1975)
Vionnet greatly influenced the course of fashion during the 20s and 30s.  Unlike
many of the fashion designers of her time, Madeliene Vionnet chose a very
private lifestyle.  Her design style added a third dimension to clothing, giving
them a flowing and supple structure.  This not only expressed the body's
shape, but added an emotional dimension as well.  One of Madeleine
Vionnet's quotes was, "when a woman smiles, her dress should also smile".

Cristobal Balenciaga(Spanish Designer 1875 - 1972)
1950 Strapless evening dress of white satin embroidered with gold and silver
braid, silver beads, and rhinestones.  It features a large bronze taffeta sash
over the hips and a bow in back forming a slight train.  Long matching gloves
(not shown here) are made of bronze taffeta as well.  The allover embrodery
is executed in a medalion pattern surrounded by a leafy scroll motif.  The top
and bottom hem have a wide border of encrusted beads on a lamé ground.
The dress has a boned bodice, line with white silk, seamed to the
slim skirt at the waist.

Black wool day dress fully lined in silk.  The fitted sheath style has long sleeves
"cut in one" with the dress.  Four inches below the round neckline is a horizontal
bust seam.  There are four vertical seams at the center front, center back, and
two sides.  There is a detachable matching panel fastened with two buttons
onto the dress at the back of the shoulders (acts like a cape).  The panel hides
the center-back hook-and-eye and snap closures.  

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel(French Designer 1883 - 1971)
Cocktail Ensemble made of Black silk and synthetic pile with ivory polyester
blend damask with black nylon jersey.

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Poiret Circa 1912
March 1957
Vionnet Gown Circa 1930
Balenciaga 1950
Balenciaga 1960-1964
Chanel 1964