Friday, December 23, 2011

The Little Dictionary of Fashion

If you frequent Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, or pretty much any fashion boutique that carries books, you have likely come across this little piece of heaven.

I was delighted to open an early present from my boyfriend and find this magical 126- page fashion dictionary.  Although I had eyed it from time to time at the aforementioned stores, I never really spent time perusing it.  Well, let me tell you- I was missing out.

This book is utter fashion genius, and not surprisingly, written by Christian Dior.  Christian Dior's designs are so iconic that any piece with a cinched waist, sloping shoulders, and a full skirt is compared to his 1947 New Look.  Desiring to create clothing that would make women feel like women again after World War II, Dior created architectural feats of beauty that emphasized the essence of being female and defined the 1950s silhouette.  

Here are designs by Dior featuring the "New Look."



This little fashion dictionary features vintage photographs from Dior's own designs while Mr. Dior himself teaches us how to dress stylishly at every occasion.   One of Christian's beliefs that I myself share, and couldn't help but cheer when I read it in his words, is this:

"Many people dismiss haute couture as being something that is only for the wealthy.  But it is possible for a woman to be elegant without spending very much on her clothes, if she follows the basic rules of fashion and is careful to choose the clothes that suit her personality. Simplicity, good taste, and grooming are the three fundamentals of good dressing and these do not cost money." - Christian Dior

{Dior RTW Spring/Summer 2012 via NY Mag}

{Dior RTW Spring/Summer 2012 via NY Mag}

I believe, just as Dior did, that architecture and fashion design are interchangeable, and every woman should know how to dress her own body.  I have often been met with animosity when expressing my love for designer fashion.  I think many people feel following fashion is a frivolous affair and that time should be spent on nobler causes.  I always find this surprising, mainly because people fail to realize how much they covey simply by how they dress.  Fashion isn't something only the wealthy can indulge in or care about.  Rather, every person should learn their body, their architecture, and design themselves accordingly.  Choose clothes that are simple in line and pay great attention to fit.   If fashion and design overwhelm you, well, I recommend you read Mr. Dior's book.  :)

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