This summer I read a lot of books, from some good old English literature with Dickens and Austen (I'm such a sucker for those) to some complicated essay on Islam religion to fashion biographies and magazines of all kinds. Quite diverse, uh? But again, that's what I love so much about reading, that you can just find books in all shapes and colors and pretty much about any topic you want.
One of the books that I enjoyed the most, as far as fashion's concerned, was Christian Dior's biography, the VogueOn Edition, which I strognly suggest to anyone with an interest in getting a culture in the fashion world or simply curious to know more about a designer that changed the world with its creations. At the end of the day we all know that Christian Dior is a massive icon in the society of the fifties but also still today in fashion runways and high couture.
They say designers are born to be so and effectively Christian is worth the compliment, since he never studied anything regarding fashion... to be fair, he never cared at all about fashion either. Christian was a french overly shy and puffed teen who didn't love to make friends and spent a lot of time with his family, filled with entrepreneurial spirit and business-minded people. Christian was different and, as he himself said, his awkward looks never helped.
Since his first step into the adult world, when he was still a teenager, he showed a great passion for art and paintings. His dad severely insisted he would study Politics, but Christian's artistic spirit made him quit. When he was in in his twenties, Dior started to make acquaintance with a group of musicians, writers and composers of the time. By the time Dior was in his mid-twenties, being a painter seemed his chosen and assured career. His dad helped him open a modern art gallery in Paris, after his son had promised the name of the family would never appear on the gallery's door.
All seemed to be going well, until in 1930 superstitious Christian accidentally drops a mirror; this action was perceived by Christian as a most unfortunate event. Indeed a bleaker period starts for the young artist: his mum and brother died, his sister was momentarily in jail, a big economical crisis and general depression spread through Paris, the luxurious capital of France. All fashion and well living ideals are overturned. France drops in probably one of the darkest periods in its history.
Dior had to close his gallery, his dream seemed to slowly fade away.
And that's when fate made him a designer: one day a friend of his told him that an old maison in Paris, the couture house of Philippe and Gaston, was looking for a stylist to help modernize and revitalize their house. Dior declined. Later in the day he happened to meet his friend again and they randomly encountered again a few days later. Dior was too superstitious to decline again, he thought it was his calling. And that's how he started his shimmering career with the now so famous "New Look". Superstition pushed him to start, and maybe hope to earn some money as well... but certainly at first passion did not encourage him at all.
This book taught me something: in art, intuition and talent are the key, you can't really learn how to do it, but you can improve or learn how to stand out, how to use your inborn abilities.
Christian Dior was a painter and he probably never thought he would become such an icon in fashion, but he did.
I'd suggest anyone with a vague interest in fashion or art to read his inspiring biography and be as amazed as I was by the elegance and originality of such innovative creations by someone who never even had an introduction in the fashion industry.
To draw my conclusion, don't give up: if you are a student, a lawyer, a housewife, a whatsoever... wait for it, in a couple years you could be the next Dior.
As cheesy as it sounds,
Never say never,