During the Second World War, Dior worked alongside Pierre Balmain under Lucien Lelong. Although the German occupiers tried to stamp out French fashion "decadence"-and the privations of wartime necessitated austerity-the youth of Paris rebelled, using exaggerated fashion as a form of rebellion. "Hats were far too large, skirts far too short, jackets far too long, shoes far too heavy," Dior later wrote of the zazou look. "With what vengeful joy did I do the opposite later."

1945 : Germany defeated. In Paris, Balmain opens his own house, and Dior begins thinking of doing the same. By chance, he runs into a childhood friend, who asks if Dior knows a candidate to revive the house of Gaston, a venture backed by textile magnate Marcel Boussac. After inspection, Dior deems Gaston d茅mod茅 and declines the job. On the spur of the moment, finds himself proposing an entirely new maison de couture, with fresh new postwar fashions, under his own name. Impressed, Boussac takes a leap and makes a substantial investment in the unknown designer.

christian dior