THE HOUSE MONSIEUR BUILT: A new memoir celebrating the decade in which Christian Dior is credited with inventing the concept of luxury fashion as we know it is to be released next month. “Monsieur Dior: Once Upon a Time,” written by fashion journalist Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni, chronicles the period from 1947, when Dior presented his first show and unveiled the New Look, to his death in October 1957 and subsequent legacy.
The 252-page tome has 150 archival photos and accounts from people who knew him, including Pierre Cardin, who was employed in Dior’s workshops at its debut, as well as various stars like Lauren Bacall and Marlene Dietrich. The latter was famous for sending a telegram to Alfred Hitchcock with the condition “No Dior, no Dietrich” if she were to appear in his thriller “Stage Fright,” an episode that is recounted in the book.
The tome also recounts in great detail the atmosphere and impact of the February 1947 show upon which Dior launched his fashion career. “When Dior made his change of how women should look, you couldn’t ignore it,” Bacall is cited as saying. “His New Look made everything else look so old-fashioned.”
Others cited in the work, published by Pointed Leaf Press, include customers, models and employees, painting the portrait of both the man himself and the business model he created.
“I never saw him annoyed or angry,” said Cardin in the compact hardback, which measures roughly 7 inches by 8 inches. It will be published in 15 countries on Oct. 15, priced at 60 euros, or $78 at current exchange.