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Explore Christian Dior’s 1949 atelier through this captivating archive footage

A compelling vintage documentary goes behind-the-scenes of one of the legendary designer’s haute couture collections

Christian Dior is one of the world’s most famous designers, known for changing the face of fashion forever with his elegant and ethereal creations. Now, at a time when fashion is providing some much-needed escapism to so many, the French fashion house has re-released a fascinating archive documentary, giving viewers a glimpse into the fantastical world of haute couture.

Christian Dior outside his Paris atelier
Image courtesy of Dior

Directed by Henri A Lavorel, the film, entitled Haute-Couture, sees Christian Dior and his team preparing for the house’s Autumn/Winter 1949 couture collection, with footage taking viewers into the iconic 30 Avenue Montaigne atelier, where Dior created so many of his collections.

Narrated by the couturier himself, the documentary offers an insight into how the clothes were designed, draped on mannequins and eventually modelled on the catwalk, and gives viewers the chance to see the famous couturier at work. As Dior wrote in his own autobiography: “Couturiers embody one of the last refuges of the marvellous. They are, in a way, masters of dreams.”


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Christian Dior inspects some fabric for his Haute Couture collection
Image courtesy of Dior

The legendary designer reinvigorated the fashion world with the revolutionary ‘New Look’ he pioneered in the late 1940s, transforming his visions into irresistible creations. “Whatever you do – whether for work or pleasure – do it with passion! Live with passion,” the designer once wrote.

The French fashion house stated that it has released the documentary as a way to “lend some lightness during these trying times”, bringing the magic of couture into our own homes. It’s not the first offering from Dior in a bid to alleviate the strains of lockdown life – recently they also released a virtual tour of their groundbreaking ‘Designer of Dreams’ exhibition, which broke records when it opened at the V&A last year.

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