Hands Up: Christian Dior Couture

July 4, 2022

A dream within reach

“How many hooks will you put on your collar, sweetheart?” Madame Jacqueline, Première d’Atelier Flou, asks a worker to fill out her materials handling form. A celestial voice answers her, “I have seven centimetres…” “Yes, then four.”  Everything is white, the sky has put on its translucent coat. This is the first collection since the return of the atelier at 11 rue François 1er in Paris. The dream is within reach. Based on the theme of the tree of life, the collection, so intimate, is one with the atmosphere. Winter makes the gesture shine, in weightlessness, with delicacy, in all its virtuosity. Not tulle, but muslin, Georgette, guipure, materials that escape under the fingers. Also, lace. Nothing that cannot be assembled by machine, and up to 400 hours for a dress. Embroidered cottons evoke ancient tablecloths, macramé backs that almost conjure up the ghost of Madeleine Dior, the designer’s mother. A Bar jacket is entirely pleated, molded, all folds are held inside out.

Courtesy of Laurence Benaïm

Softness and tact above all. Maxime, who comes from a family of sportsmen and bakers, clearly understands this approach. He has been working with the House for four years, and nothing clings to him, nothing gets stretched under his fingers. English seams, ladder trim, bias cut. It is necessary to resolve the garment’s fall, to restructure it to avoid the “bumps”. Can you say fairy gentleman? Here he is assembling the panels of a poppy muslin dress, having taken care to put tissue paper underneath, to control the volumes. The bodice and sleeves are the same, velvet ribbons smock the subtly embroidered and carved material.  The hand sews, it looks like it dances, the gesture is at once precise and aerial, creating a grid of diamonds in which she will pass the ribbons.  Concealed under an embroidered and airy band, the snaps will be necessarily invisible. “Muslin is pure flou, it can’t be controlled. That’s what’s I like. A story of bias and resources. He says: “A dress looks simple, while underneath everything is complex – that is the secret of Haute Couture. A dress must be maintained around the body, while letting it breathe.” And then there was silence. 

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