THE TIMES TOP 10 BESTSELLER
AN IRISH INDEPENDENT BOOK OF THE YEAR
‘A gripping story in which Justine Picardie brilliantly contrasts the cruel Old World of wartime France with the hopeful New World epitomised by Christian Dior’s New Look.’
‘An incredible story of courage, endurance and passion.’
MARIA GRAZIA CHIURI, Creative Director of Dior
‘An extraordinary biography.’
‘Exceptional . . . Miss Dior is so much more than a biography.’
Miss Dior is a story of freedom and fascism, beauty and betrayal, roses and repression, and how the polished surface of fashion conceals hidden depths.
It paints a portrait of the enigmatic woman behind the designer Christian Dior: his beloved younger sister Catherine, who inspired his most famous perfume and shaped his vision of femininity. Justine Picardie’s journey takes her to Occupied Paris, where Christian honed his couture skills while Catherine dedicated herself to the French Resistance, until she was captured by the Gestapo and deported to the German concentration camp of Ravensbruck.
With unparalleled access to the Dior family homes and archives, Picardie’s research into Catherine’s courageous life shines a new light on Christian Dior’s legendary work, and reveals how his enchanting ‘New Look’ emerged out of the shadows of his sister’s suffering.
Tracing the wartime paths of the Dior siblings leads Picardie deep into other hidden histories, and different forms of resistance and sisterhood. She explores what it means to believe in beauty and hope, despite our knowledge of darkness and despair, and discovers the timeless solace of the natural world in the aftermath of devastation and destruction. The result is an exquisite and unforgettably moving book.
*A beautiful, full colour illustrated book featuring exclusive images from the Dior archives*
‘Catherine’s story is beautifully, hauntingly told in spare and elegant prose by Picardie . . . moving and evocative.’
‘The juxtaposition of the terrible shadows and dazzling light is one of the great strengths of this book . . . A very personal, very passionate book.’
ARTEMIS COOPER, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
‘Picardie writes: ‘The vestiges of Catherine’s presence remain as a powerful reminder of the importance of freedom, and why it is worth fighting for.’ There are few truer words.’
‘Picardie’s book is of the moment, celebrating an unsung hero at a time when female influences are earning new acclaim.’
‘Miss Dior ensures the bravery of the women at Ravensbruck is not merely a distant echo.’
‘Moving and beautifully illustrated.’ NEW STATESMAN
‘Exquisite.’ COUNTRY LIFE
‘Not just beautifully written, this is also a stunningly beautiful book.’ NOON
'Every single person who has experienced the loss, yearning and honourable rage of bereavement will know that this is their book. There is nothing else like it.' - Nigella Lawson, on IF THE SPIRIT MOVES YOU 'Elegant . . . Coco has, in these pages, come out of hiding.' - Frances Wilson, Telegraph, on COCO CHANEL
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