Baby Dior, happy fifty
One of the world’s most desirable children’s brands is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Baby Dior’s creative director, Cordelia de Castellane, retraces its unique history, heritage and savoir-faire.
Back in the 1950s, Christian Dior sometimes made clothes for his nieces and loyal clients’ daughters. Princess Grace of Monaco’s little girls made their first public appearance clad in Dior. In 1967, Marc Bohan, the illustrious house’s third creative director, launched Baby Dior, born out of such princely inspiration. His first collection included velvet, large frilly collars and the colour black, then a very bold move in children’s fashion.
Paris, the festive city!
Fifty years on, Baby Dior is celebrating its half century of existence with “Mon Petit Paris”, a collection that pays homage to the City of Light: Pierrots skip across zinc roofs, little girls in leopard-skin coats stroll around the Parc de Bagatelle, budding intellectuals saunter through Saint-Germain-des-Près while gamins sporting berets lark about on the quayside… Everything is made in Brittany, in factories where mechanics, assemblers and embroiders use the precious savoir-faire that Cordelia de Castellane does not want to lose: “It’s a genuine rarity, a treasure. It’s what defines a garment: knowing how to place the seams in a certain way, how to respect the fabric when cutting it, how to ensure a garment hangs perfectly…”
Children can be naughty...
Cordelia trained at Chanel and Ungaro, before launching her own childrenswear brand, CdeC, and joining Dior’s creative team six years ago. With four children of her own, this supermum doesn’t hesitate to get them to test her garments for comfort, even if that sometimes means reworking the labels dozens of times so that they don’t scratch the back of the neck!
Respectful of the fashion house’s rich legacy, Cordelia draws her inspiration from Christian Dior’s inexhaustible story, from his love of art and passion for gardens, his fondness for travel and his beloved Normandy. Make people dream and marvel is her guiding principle, not forgetting that: “They may be dressed in Dior, but they’re real children, who do silly things. Children who behave too well would really annoy me!” says Cordelia with a smile. In the enchanted world of Baby Dior, the faux model children in frilly shirts and fitted jackets don’t take themselves too seriously. So much the better!