Dior at 116 This week the VFG honors the man who was arguably the greatest fashion designer in history. Christian Dior, who was born on January 21, 1905, was artistic and took to fashion sketching at a young age but it wasn't until 1946 that he achieved his great renown. In the 1930s, with the Great Depression and family deaths, Dior's path veered, but from 1937 he designed alongside Pierre Balmain at Robert Piguet. After WWII service in the French army, Dior worked again with Balmain, this time for the house of Lucien Lelong. In 1946, he founded his own fashion house, and soon after made a huge impact with his Corolle collection—the New Look, as Carmel Snow dubbed it. Quickly the restrictions of wartime seemed outmoded by voluptuous and voluminous silhouettes. Fitted, padded, cinched and lofty forms that accentuated the woman’s figure took hold and had a profound influence on fashion. In 1948, his pioneering licensing of furs, perfumes, and stockings further helped make Dior a household name. Yves Saint Laurent became Dior’s assistant in 1955, and succeeded him at his death in 1957. A succession of designers have reigned at Dior since. Besides Saint Laurent there has been Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and most recently Maria Grazia Chiuri. The extensive Dior exhibition at Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs from 2017 to 2018, and the following year at the V&A in London, gave a new generation a first hand look at the virtuosity of Dior. (Be sure to watch the video Christian Dior, Designer of Dreams' at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.) Look for nipped waists and full skirts in this week's parade, along with fitted sheaths, and sleekly tailored suits à la Dior. We may throw in some vintage underpinnings for good measure. Add feminine touches such as gloves, flowers, sparkling jewelry, and both wide-brimmed and fitted 1950s hats. Who knows, maybe there will be some genuine Dior-labeled vintage fashion in this parade—attendez et regardez!