Christian Dior's 1951 Collections

Christian Dior presented his first collection on February 12, 1947. So impressed with the unique and charming fashions, the Editor-in-Chief for Harper's Bazaar exclaimed, "It's quite a revolution, dear Christian! Your dresses have such a new look!"

News of Christian Dior's "New Look" spread quickly and fashion magazines worldwide were soon filled with Dior's designs. Femininity was back in vogue as Christian Dior set a new standard for fashion innovation and excellence.

Model in Christian Dior 1951 Ad wearing hat in same fabric with backdrop in same fabric
Christian Dior 1951 Ad featuring Jardin Des Modes
An Example of Dior's Afternoon Dress

Two Christian Dior designs displayed on mannequins from his Spring/Summer 1951 Cecil Beaton collection
Christian Dior Spring/Summer 1951 "Cecil Beaton"
An homage to his friend Cecil Beaton and to his passion for flowers
©Metropolitan Museum
Gift of  Mrs. Byron C. Foy

In the early 1950's Dior moved away from the nipped waistlines and generous skirts of The New Look to form collections based on geometric lines.

Christian Dior's Spring/Summer 1951 Ovale collection featured less volume and utilized pleats to create an oval shape.

Dior's Fall/Winter 1951 Line Longue collection lengthened and narrowed the silhouette.

Model wearing 1951 Christian Dior gown in 1951 advertisement
Christian Dior 1951 Ad
Coudurier, Fructus, Descher Textiles

Beautiful black long evening gown displayed on mannequin from Dior's 1951 "Diorama" Collection
Christian Dior Spring/Summer 1951 "Diorama" Evening Gown
©Metropolitan Museum
Gift of Mrs. Byron C. Foy

Day dress by Christian Dior 1951 collection Quiproquo with Asian Print displayed on mannequin
Christian Dior 1951 "Quiproquo"
An Indication of Dior's Fascination with Asian Print
Gift of Mrs. Byron C. Foy

Christian Dior Spring/Summer 1951 "Grand Guigno" displayed on mannequin
Christian Dior Spring/Summer 1951 "Grand Guigno"
The waistline was moved upward and the skirt lengthened
©Metropolitan Museum
Gift of Mrs. Henry Rogers Benjamin

Simple Black strapless dress paired with taffeta coat displayed on mannequin from House of Dior 1951 Sylvie
House of Dior Spring/Summer 1951 "Sylvie"
Designer Elsa Schiaparelli
Simple Strapless Dress Paired with Detailed Taffeta Coat
Gift of Mrs. Byron C. Foy

Suit displayed on mannequin from Christian Dior 1951 Spring/Summer 1951 Desiree line
Christian Dior 1951 Spring/Summer Désirée
Peplum Has Disappeared Offering a Slimmer Silhouette
©Metropolitan Museum
Gift of Janet A. Sloane

Christian Dior bodice and skirt design from 1951 name Partie Fine displayed on mannequin
Christian Dior 1951 Spring/Summer "Partie Fine"
Bodice and Skirt are Separate; Décolletage is Revealed with use of Small Wires
Gift of Mrs. Byron C. Foy

Model wear suit in 1951 Christian Dior Ad featuring Julliard Woolens
Christian Dior 1951 Ad for Julliard Woolens
My Vintage Vogue

Dinner dress by Christian Dior Spring/Summer 1951 Comedie Legere displayed on dress form
Christian Dior Spring/Summer 1951 "Comedie Lègére"
Dinner Dress of Grey Silk Organza with
Lace, Silk, and Rhinestone Embroidery
Gift of Mrs. Byron C. Foy

Did you notice how many of Dior's dresses were donated to The Costume Institute by Mrs. Byron C. Foy? Who was this Mrs. Foy? Apparently she was right up there on the social ladder with Gloria Vanderbilt.

Thelma Chrysler Foy was a renowned socialite, fashion devotee, and arts patroness who lived on Park Avenue in New York City. She was the daughter of the Chrysler Automobile Company founder Walter Chrysler and married to Byron C. Foy, a dashing Texan who was also a Chrysler executive.

The Foy's enjoyed entertaining New York's privileged set in their 18th century French furniture and Impressionist art filled mansion.

Mannequin displaying House of Dior FallWinter 1949=1950 "Junon" Evening Gown
House of Dior Fall/Winter 1949-1950 "Junon"
Mrs. Foy actually owned, wore, and donated the "Junon"
Gift of Mrs. Byron C. Foy

The large donations she made to the Costume Institute indicate why she was repeatedly voted one of society's ten best-dressed women.

Mrs. Byron C. Foy died of leukemia in 1957. For our younger readers, 1950's obituaries listed cause of death.

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