In 1947, post World War II, Christian Dior sent a waltz to the image of the factory woman-soldier – the woman-flower was born, the Tailleur Bar as a standard.
How did Dior’s Tailleur Bar come about?
Christian Dior, alongside the textile manufacturer Marcel Boussac, they were committed to making a “return to an ideal of civilized happiness”. By his refusal to compromise, by his commitment to the return of elegant clothing, Mr. Dior started thinking of a first collection that revived the ideal standard of beauty.
He liked to spend the evening at the Plaza Athénée for a drink. It was the bar of the plaza itself that inspired his flagship creation. Straight shoulders, slightly drooping in profile, extremely wide skirt covering the calf, very thin and tight waist, constituting the anchor point of the outfit – the bar setting was all the rage this day in 1947, in the salons of 30 Avenue Montaigne.
The line aimed to be a symbol of femininity and absolute elegance. The designer assured that he wanted “my dresses to be built, molded on the curves of the female body whose shape they would stylize. I adjusted the size, the volume of the hips, and highlighted the chest.” By harmonizing everything with a lining of three meters of percale and taffeta, Christian Dior had thus revived an old tradition.
The shapely silhouette of the Tailleur Bar already evoked the crinolines of the 19th century; the jacket is a loan from the golden age of men’s fashion, loan made possible by the democratization of the full jacket.
But on the eve of the parade, the first try-on on the Tania model went from failure to failure. The basques fell flat. The effect on the hips were insignificant. Dior then had the idea of using surgical cotton plates which he folded in an accordion shape to create the desired volume. It worked!
The Tailleur Bar was born. Astonished, many socialites rushed towards this new signature of French fashion. From 1947, the Tailleur Bar was reproduced in all magazines; women around the world dressed in Dior.
The Dior Manifestation, Radical Modernism
In what constitutes as a a perfectly harmonious balance between curves and lines, the proportions of the Tailor Bar magnify the natural curves of a woman. And it is in this, that it is an absolute masterpiece of the house.
From John Galliano to Raf Simons via Maria Grazia Chuiri, the manifest invented by Christian Dior is a wonder to reimagine. Always ahead of its time, the Tailleur Bar had become a staple for women – elegant and powerful. A basic captured wonderfully by photographer Peter Lindberg.
For where John Galliano made an extravagant version of it in imposing fabrics and volumes, Raf Simons quickly proved that he was also effective in creating a minimal version.
Black and cut to the line, The Tailleur Bar reinvented the pants in 2012 in a very desirable version.
Maria Grazia Chuiri has also reinvented the Tailleur Bar often in recent years – drawing in its accented lines, one of the most radical neo-feminists grammars. A legend that ultimately resists all the changes of the era.