Mini Dior has celebrated a birthday! The elite baby couture line was born in 1967 - exactly fifty-one years ago yesterday! In the honored presence of the Princess Grace of Monaco, the very first Baby Dior boutique was inaugurated by Marc Bohan.
The fateful event took place at 28 Avenue Montaigne, steps away from the Dior couture house and Miss Dior boutique - a legendary address. Originally a townhouse which immediately caught Dior’s discerning eye and he knew he had to have it! It would eventually evolve to become the home of his very own couture label, La Maison Dior.
Although many may question the concept of fine French fashion for children Cordélia de Castellane, creative director of Baby Dior since 2012 and the mother of four children shares her motto; ‘I always try to stay in the head of the child. I don’t want kids to look perfect,’ she says. ‘I want them to have fun and be lively and full of joy and poetry.’ Her collections are always inspired by an aspect of Christian Dior’s life. ‘Mr. Dior had a very sweet childhood and kept a big part of that inside him,’ she says. ‘So I always like to start my collections with a story for the children about something he loved.’ Her inspiration was essential to what was intrinsically Dior.
According to DIOR MAG, Christian Dior never ceased to draw inspiration from his childhood memories. When the opportunity to please the three daughters of his friend Pierre Colle; Beatrice, Sylvia, and Marie-Pierre, of whom Dior is the godfather, he did not hesitate to show inventiveness. For Christmas in 1949, Dior offered the girls New Look designs in miniature for their dolls. What began as pure entertainment for visionary, gradually became a venture reserved for the most exceptional events, such as ceremonies of baptism or marriage
The royal children were often gussied up in mini Dior and in October of 1961, Elizabeth Taylor appeared in London with her daughter, both dressed in violet coats lined with Dior mink ( a commissioned special request); marking the very first steps of Baby Dior. Bohan would go on to create two collections a year consisting of flounced dresses, flannel jumpsuits, mini ties, Russian-style pajamas and shoes embroidered with the initials CD to drive the point home - as described in The Telegraph. Bohan declared, ‘When a designer makes something for a child, it should have fashion, but not be like a little adult.’
Akin to Christian Dior in his day, Castellane injects her work with a dose of humor, naming each piece individually. The designer also enjoys appropriating the House codes, such as the cannage motif and the rose, mixing them with unexpected materials and colors. Baby Dior collections are modern and innovative, produced in beautiful materials, with the concept of comfort always paramount. And so, after fifty extraordinary years, the Baby Dior legacy and its spirit are still perpetuated by Cordelia de Castellane today.
In celebration of Baby Dior, it’s only fitting to take a moment to acknowledge of the prodigious Christian Dior...“Whatever you do – whether for work or pleasure – do it with passion! Live with passion,” advises Christian Dior in his Little Dictionary of Fashion. Words to live by.