Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He was born in Granville, Normandy, France, heir to a fertilizer fortune. In 1946, backed by textile magnate Marcel Boussac , he established his main house of couture in Paris. In twelve years he expanded his business to 15 countries and employed over 2,000 people.
Dior is known mainly for the 1947 "New Look" which employed narrow shoulders, constricted waist, emphasized bust, and long, wide skirt. His designs represented consistent classic elegance, stressing the feminine look. Dior spread his fashions around the world when he and his partner, Jaques Rouet, started liscensing agreements in the fashion industry. In 1953 Yves Saint-Laurent became his assistant.
The plump Dior, who suffered from heart trouble, reportedly died of a heart attack while undergoing a weight-loss cure at the spa in Montecatini, Italy, in an effort to make himself more desirable to his young North African lover, singer Jacques Benita ; the death reportedly occurred in the lobby of the Hotel Pace after an after-dinner canasta game. "", the 2005 memoirs of Paris socialite Alexis von Rosenberg, Baron de Redé , however, suggest that the fashion designer actually died of a heart attack after a too strenuous evening spent with two young men.
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