On the occasion of the release of the new Eau de Parfum, Natalie Portman, the face of Miss Dior since 2010, is illustrated in a new advertising campaign. The opportunity to return to the history of this mythical perfume, impervious to fashions and time.
Difficult to dissociate Christian Dior from the term New Look, which its fashion was called from its beginnings in 1947. Flashback to a first Parisian parade on February 12, 1947 which turned a page in the history of fashion, but also of perfume. If the couturier is still unknown to the general public, some great fashion priestesses are flocking to its first store at 30 avenue Montaigne. The designer wants to break with the surrounding grayness and give women back their femininity. Its models, elaborated with a large quantity of fabrics, celebrate a flower-woman with round shoulders and a cinched waist above flared skirts: ” In his mind, the Dior woman had to stand out. He wanted to respond to the desiderata of the time », Says Frédéric Bourdelier, heritage director of Maison Dior. ” Remember, the right to vote for women dates back to 1945. So there was the desire to forget the tubular, shapeless dresses of the 1930s. With Dior, the silhouette moves away from the U to resemble the X, with volumes tightened at the waist and push-up bustiers. ” If this first collection was called Corolle, we owe its nickname to Carmen Snow, of Harper’s Bazaar who exclaimed: ” It’s a revolution dear Christian, your dresses have such a New Look! “. This new look will become a societal phenomenon publicized which will inspire many magazines and designers.
Miss Dior: a new total look
« However, I would rather say that Dior invented the Total Look “, Nuance Frédéric Bourdelier. Because it was the first time that fashion and perfumes were launched jointly. In general, the perfume arrives several years later, as at Lucien Lelong or Robert Piguet. » Upstream, the couturier had given the responsibility of developing his perfumes to Serge Heftler Louiche, a childhood friend, previously director at Coty, big name of the sector.
By designing his first models, Christian Dior also thinks of a perfume as a “final touch” to his outfits. The two partners call on a big nose of the time, Paul Vacher – who has already formulated Arpège de Lanvin -, and command a trail that is both sophisticated and young. The couturier told him: ” Make me a perfume that smells of love ». The Three-stroke Cyprus structure combines lavender and fresh sage at the top, flowers – roses and Grasse jasmines – at the heart, on a dark background of oak moss and patchouli. A scheme as elegant as it is classic with an ultramodern touch from the galbanum, whose vegetal green evokes youth and spring dynamism.
Miss Dior: an immediate success
Miss Dior exists from the first show where it perfumes the air of the salons and perfumes the coats of the guests. Immediate success when it is marketed for the end of year celebrations, the 283 bottles produced are immediately sold despite a price higher than the market. The name is a nod to Catherine, the couturier’s sister, when the Baccarat bottle designed by Fernand Guéry-Colas takes the form of an amphora. The couturier had indeed wanted a container featuring the Corolle lines of the New Look. On 1948, while perfumes are already exported to England, Germany or Italy in a Europe which does not yet have the statutes, the American subsidiary is created and the Miss Dior wave clings to the necks of the beauties of the high society. The stars also succumb to the grace of green chypre: Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Kim Novak….
Miss Dior: a French luxury
A first Miss Dior campaign, designed by René Gruau, appears in the few magazines, also combining daring and classicism. Audacity of a visual where the main character is not the perfume, but a swan with a neck adorned with pearls and a black bow. ” Born during the Belle Epoque to a bourgeois family, Christian Dior cultivated a taste for this neo-Louis XVI classicism. », Specifies Frédéric Bourdelier. ” And precisely, in the 18th century, the swan was a symbol of youth. Moreover, the lounges on Avenue Montaigne were decorated in pearl gray, the logo was nestled in an oval medallion … And then, symbolically, the knot links the two businesses of the House. It is part of the Dior grammar. In 1949, the amphora was available in a luxury version in three crystal colors overlay, blue, white and red.
But in 1950, success exceeds expectations and it is very difficult to export this fragile bottle without breakage. The couturier is not immune to the modernist spirit embodied by architects such as Le Corbusier and his Cité radieuse. He created a collection called Verticale, and immediately decided to change the bottle, opting for a geometric and sober glass. A sign that couture is never far from perfume, a houndstooth pattern prints the glass when a satin bow underlines the cork. It is in this square bottle that Miss Dior will become for the following decade an ambassador of luxury and French chic all over the world.
Miss Dior: a scent of eternity …
Of course, since then, the House has launched other fragrances, but Miss Dior is still there, from now on entitled L’Original, watching over the destinies of his little sisters. The family is growing steadily with Eau de Toilette or the latest Eau de Parfum version, composed by in-house perfumer François Demachy. : « We do not touch a myth, the Original just follows the regulatory standards », He comments. ” Our new version Eau de Parfum makes the link with current olfactory forms, while keeping a family link ». The chypre weft is less dramatic, with a sweetened and softened patchouli with creamy sandalwood, the bouquet of flowers is even more generous marrying rose and jasmine from Grasse, as in the couturier’s time, with lily of the valley, peony and iris in a “thousand flowers” effect. The green note, reinterpreted using violet leaf, is close to the crunchy vegetable, between sap and dew. For the occasion, Maria Grazia Chiuri created a spectacular, feminine and modern dress. Embroidered with a myriad of flowers that echo the heart of the perfume, it features a wonderful and colorful garden, embroidered on pleated silk. The creation is visible in the new ad worn by Natalie Portman treading the beach barefoot. The fashion-perfume dialogue is still there, through the swallowtail-shaped knot of the bottle. Executed by the house of Fauré, craftsman since 1864, made on traditional looms, this jacquard ribbon woven with 396 threads randomly deposits its touches of color, making each knot unique. A detail that would have delighted Monsieur Christian Dior (Miss Dior Eau de Parfum, 50 ml, € 104 *. 100 ml, 147 €, in perfumeries and department stores).
Photo credits: Christian Dior Parfums