For the Books: Dior Has Released a Podcast Series Recounting the Life of Its Founder - Arts & Culture

A little-known fact is that Christian Dior was the first art dealer to showcase Salvador Dalí’s famous Melting Clocks painting.

The 76-year-old brand Dior has announced a podcast series that recounts the story of its late founder Christian Dior. 

Titled The Many Lives of Christian Dior, it is narrated by Canadian actress Charlotte Le Bon and French actor Lambert Wilson for the designer’s voice. 

READ ALSO: Fresh Face: A Look At Dior’s New HQ At 30 Montaigne, Paris

According to the fashion house, Dior led an impactful life from living through the belle époque art period, the Roaring Twenties, and the 1930s to the post-war period.

Reinventing fashion

During the 20th century, Dior became one of the most important couturiers after inventing “The New Look.” Before his collection’s release two years after World War II ended in 1947, women only wore civilian uniforms due to sartorial restrictions and fabric shortages.

The New Look’s silhouette of rounded shoulders, a cinched waist, and a voluminous skirt paved the way for bringing back opulence in women’s fashion. 

However, his life was not always about art and design. In fact, the path was highly disapproved of by his father, Louis Maurice, a wealthy fertilizer manufacturer.

Episode 2 titled “Double Life”

Despite his passion for the subject, Dior submitted to Louis Maurice’s pressure to become a political science major. After graduating from Paris’ École des Sciences Politique in 1925, he eventually found work as a diplomat. 

In 1928, Dior couldn’t ignore his art world calling and opened an art gallery with borrowed money from his father—with the condition that their family name wouldn’t appear in the establishment. 

Honing his passions

With the refusal to use his name in the gallery, Dior partnered with his friend and art broker Jacques Bonjean, who lent his name to the gallery at Paris’ 34 Rue la Boétie in its eighth arrondissement. The neighborhood houses Avenue des Champs Elysées, which links the Arc de Triomphe.

Episode 3 titled “A Family Torn Apart”

During its time, Dior’s gallery showcased works of today’s historical painters such as Pablo Picasso, Fauves member Georges Braque, and Max Jacob, who was also a French poet. Notably, Dior was the first art dealer to showcase Salvador Dalí’s famous Melting Clocks painting.

With the desire to make “beautiful and happy,” Dior was hired by couturier Robert Piguet (who also trained Hubert de Givenchy) as a design assistant. However, when World War II began in 1939, Dior halted his endeavors to serve as an officer in the French army. 

The first three episodes of “The Many Lives of Christian Dior” are out on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. The series is recorded in English and French, and the next and last two installations will be available in the coming weeks. 

Images courtesy of Dior.

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