Fashion Fiction: Jeune Fille en Dior

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In Jeune Fille en Dior, illustrator Annie Goetzinger invites us to follow her heroine behind the scenes at 30 Avenue Montaigne, during the era of Monsieur Dior. A visual novel in which fiction mixes with Dior’s history with poetic freshness, Jeune Fille en Dior is told through the eyes of Clara, a young fashion chronicler on her first assignment. Annie Goetzinger breathlessly sweeps us into the backstage of the House of Dior, which has since become a symbol of elegance.

On February 12, 1947, just before Christian Dior’s debut fashion show, the level of excitement and anticipation was at fever pitch. It’s here that the story of the house of Dior starts, and with it the story of Clara, a young reporter from a modest background for the magazine Jardin des Modes – a creation of the illustrator Annie Goetzinger. Through her awestruck eyes we rediscover the tony atmosphere of the house’s historic heart and the details of the legendary Bar suit. The scenes also depict the curiosity of rich clients coming to see the collection, the behind-the-scenes buzz, the attentiveness of Monsieur Dior to his “chéries” – the women who inspired him – and his “jeunes filles” – the house models.

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Jeune Fille en Dior also imagines the enthusiastic reaction of the journalists who, like Carmel Snow of Harper’s Bazaar, sang the praises of the “New Look”. As the fates of the couturier and Clara converge, with her also becoming a “jeune fille”, the book retraces Dior’s global success, the rituals preceding the showing of each collection, transporting us from Paris to Dallas, passing by Granville, until Christian Dior’s death in 1957.

For Annie Goetzinger, the author and illustrator of Jeune Fille en Dior, after having worked with the biggest names in comic book publishing, the idea of an illustrated novel about the house at 30 Avenue Montaigne arose quite naturally.

“I wanted to recount how Dior built his house. There was a real before and after that famous fashion show of 1947,” explained Annie Goetzinger who had grown up in a family of dressmakers before starting her career as a fashion illustrator. With equal priority given to the details of her drawings as to the facts they relate, Annie Goetzinger brings to life the creative years that shaped the house’s foundation. The colorful story is as captivating to read as it is beautiful to look at.

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