The history of the iconic Dior Bar jacket
At his debut show on February 12, 1947, Christian Dior presented the Bar jacket, which for 75 years has been at the heart of the DNA of the House of Dior and is still rightfully considered a fashion masterpiece and a design standard that designers around the world aspire to. Since the first appearance of the iconic piece of clothing on the catwalk, it returns every season.
In the 1940s, Monsieur Dior himself reshaped a wooden mannequin to create the same jacket.A thin waist line, complemented by an elegant peplum that emphasizes the hips, helped to achieve feminine forms. A graceful neckline to emphasize the bust, soft shoulders, strict tailoring and an architectural cut gave every girl the opportunity to feel sophisticated and elegant
Acacias suit from the Dior Haute Couture spring-summer 1949 collection
“Monsieur Dior didn’t like the way women dressed during the war,” explained Soizik Pfaff, head of the Dior archive. “He really wanted to completely change everything. I wanted more femininity, more elegance, more happiness, I wanted to show the curves of the body. The designer personally constantly reworked and updated the iconic piece, which was featured in various versions in nearly all of the 22 haute couture collections he designed until his sudden death in 1957.
Young, incredibly talented and, as it turned out, too bold, Yves Saint Laurent, who took over as head of the House when he was only 21 years old, did not want to work with New Look and began to introduce experimental, more angular forms. But Mark Boan (who, by the way, inspired Maria Grazia Chiuri to create a vibrant spring-summer 2022 collection), who worked at Dior for 28 years until 1989, on the contrary, softened the lines and volumes of Bar and more willingly worked on rethinking the legacy of Dior.
Following Boan, it was Gianfranco Ferre’s turn to rethink the iconic costume of his great predecessor. The Italian designer brought architectural brilliance to the codes of the House, without limiting himself to pomp and some theatricality. The latter, by the way, prepared Dior fans for the appearance of John Galliano in the chair of the creative director of the House.
It was Raf Simons who approached the Bar jacket with the greatest trepidation, making dozens of impeccable variations of the hourglass-shaped piece, both in couture collections and in Ready-to-Wear collections. The Belgian designer also paid tribute to Monsieur Dior’s love of architecture: Simons moved elements of the Bar jacket to other pieces of clothing, from strapless tops to evening dresses.
The current creative director of the House, Maria Grazia Chiuri, continues the history of the cult piece that began 75 years ago. The Bar jacket received a new breath in the Dior cruise, couture and ready-to-wear collections. See how one of the amazing and timeless items of the wardrobe was created by craftsmen in a Parisian atelier at 30 Avenue Montaigne.