Dior is screening a documentary from its archives

‘Haute Couture’ offers a behind the scenes look at the autumn/winter 1949 couture collection, with narration from Monsieur Dior himself. You can watch it here.

by Mahoro Seward
|
23 April 2020, 2:00pm

Loathsome as this whole lockdown situation may be, there are silver linings. Whether it’s better air quality or the savings you’re making from no longer having to commute, it’s important to relish the small victories that come your way.

One such victory is the archival digging that companies have been doing to assuage our crippling boredom, unearthing gems like 80s footage of gloriously camp fitness instructor Tony Britts on BBC Breakfast Time.

Never ones to be outdone, fashion houses are getting in on the action too. Today, for example, Dior is screening an unseen 1949 documentary, featuring the eponymous couturier himself. Directed by Henri A. Lavorel and narrated by the house founder, Haute Couture “notably reveals the secrets of 30 Avenue Montaigne and the creation of its icons,” reads a statement, offering a peek behind the scenes at the autumn/winter 1949 couture collection.

The timing of the release is indeed fitting, given the documentary’s historical subject matter. Filmed just two years on from the maison’s founding, it captures a time shortly after the debut of Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’, the wasp-waisted, full-skirted silhouette that shifted fashion’s course towards a territory of decadent femininity after the austerity of the Second World War.

As we find ourselves living through a ~unprecedented~ historical episode, you can’t help but wonder what lasting effects it will have on how we dress. Those, of course, remain to be seen, but while we wait to find out, we can at least allow fashion to temporarily transport us from the dreariness of our waking realities. As Monsieur Dior once said, “Couturiers embody one of the last refuges of the marvellous. They are, in a way, masters of dreams.”

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