Everything I know about fashion, and it’s not much, I learned from Heather and Jessica at Go Fug Yourself. I know that Kate Middleton loves Jenny Packham (as do I), Stella McCartney’s designs are kooky, and Jennifer Lawrence is the latest Girl in Dior.
Dior is a name I recognize, even if I don’t know much about it. When Girl in Dior popped up as recommended for me in Scribd, I thought I might at least learn a couple of things.
Girl in Dior mixes fact and fiction with beautiful illustrations to create the story of Clara and a history of the House of Dior. In 1947, unknown designer Christian Dior created a scandal when he unveiled his collection. The dresses were luxurious, long hemlines and miles of fabric in a time of austerity. People were still rationing after the war. Hemlines were above the knee. An American group named The Little Below the Knee Club held a protest over the length of the dresses- they were too long!
Clara watches the hubbub from her assigned press set. The daughter of a seamstress, she knows what she’s seeing is going to rock the fashion world. She never imagines that she’ll soon be wearing Dior herself.
Girl in Dior is a Cinderella story: working girl becomes royalty. There isn’t much conflict for Clara. Except for her losing her job for a moment, she doesn’t have a lot to overcome. People are unbelievably nice to her. I didn’t realize at the time that Clara wasn’t a real person. It made sense at the end, it was too good to be true. Clara is a stand in for the reader. Through her we observe the models, seamstresses, buyers, and even Dior himself. Clara’s story isn’t important, it’s just a vehicle for the story of Dior.
Let’s move onto the art. It’s beautiful! The colors and backgrounds are subdued. The drawings very realistic. The women are handsome. The gowns are fantastic.
Annie Goetzinger is a well known comic artist in France, but Girl in Dior is her first English graphic novel. Here is an interesting interview with her by Comic Book Resources. I am excited to read that her next project is based on the life of Colette! I hope that will be available in Canada.
If you want to look at beautiful dresses and art, or are interested in post-World War II fashion, you’ll enjoy Girl in Dior.