dress & jacket

Christian Dior, Paris, 1947 - 1957

dress & jacket

Christian Dior, Paris 1947 - 1957


Silver-grey wild silk dress and jacket: Fitted princess-line dress with angular breast pockets, short raglan sleeves, cf opening, fastening with 6 circular buttons, and narrow skirt (subsequently considerably shortened); dress cut in 8 narrow vertical panels. Matching fitted jacket with sloping raglan-type bracelet-length sleeves with complex bust and arm seams; SB fastening with 4 circular buttons CF. Narrow woven label on dress side seam: 'Christian Dior, Paris'. This outfit is probably the model named 'James' - spring/summer 'Tulip' collection 1953.

Display Label

Crisp, black grosgrain silk gives a sharp definition to this stylish if deceptively simple cocktail dress which still looks back to a 1950s silhouette. However, its neat unfussy lines are created and supported by a complicated understructure using stiffened black net, boning, foam bust padding and a layered underskirt. Elegant but unfussy, this dress exemplifies Dior's 1954 declaration that "a little black frock is essential to a woman's wardrobe". In 1947, Christian Dior staked his place in fashion history with his famous "New Look", featuring sloping shoulders, nipped-in waists and voluminous skirts. His new, romantic styles marked a sudden end to the angular, fabric-saving designs that had dominated women's fashion during World War II and in the immediate aftermath. The two outfits below are both designed by Dior, the first in 1953 and called 'James'; and the second in autumn/winter 1957, Dior's last collection, called 'Automne'. The Christian Dior label continued to prosper after the designer's death in 1957 under the leadership of Yves Saint Laurent from 1958 to 1960. This dress is from YSL's last collection before Marc Bohan took over for a 30 year spell at the House.

Object Name

dress & jacket

Creators Name

Christian Dior, Paris

Date Created



L (cb dress): 108cm
bust: 97cm

accession number


Place of creation




© Manchester Art Gallery

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