Christian Dior launched his fashion line in a private Parisian home in 1947. His fashions in his first showcase that year were showered with worldwide attention. His New Look line, a term forced on it by the media, shed the regimented designs of World War II. Assuming the role of a fashion dictator, he called the shots in the 1950s, banishing knees, tightening waists and padding hips. But understanding the fickleness of the fashion world, Dior within years ordered that knees be shown and waists let out. His death in 1957 nearly led to the downfall of the entire company. A then unknown 21-year-old designer was promoted to artistic director to save the company. That man, Yves Saint Laurent, helped deliver broader appeal to the once haughty collection. As the House of Dior continued to flourish, the line became a fashionable yet elegant one, garnering popularity among Hollywood's elite and average shoppers alike. But Dior hasn't been without controversy: the house's creative-director position sits empty after the March 2011 firing of John Galliano amid allegations of anti-Semitic outbursts.
Next Dolce & Gabbana