"There is no death by Dior if we talk about art, there is only life by Dior." Alison Winfield Burns
London, England (PRWEB UK) 31 May 2013
To win this fabulous Paris fashion week 2014 prize the reader only needs to correctly answer three questions. The answers for the first two questions can be found within the book Death by Dior and the answer to the third can be found on the internet.
It is in this context Alison Winfield Burns reviews Death by Dior in The Huffington Post and writes:- "For all the pathos that the book Death by Dior contains, it conjures bittersweet nostalgia. It's a joy for readers to think back to those first, post-war New Look Dior gowns: skirts with heaps of fabric in scarlet, jade, or champagne. They really just resembled big, Cinderella dresses and the days of France's Belle Époque.
"Women want to feel extraordinary and nobody does it better than Christian Dior. There's something about a handful of silky-smooth cloth that is very sensuous. It drives men crazy. Marilyn Monroe sang in 1953's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, "square-cut or pear shape, diamonds are a girl's best friend." That may be so, but a girl's dress is just as vital.
"During WWII, Paris was an occupied city and French couture houses collaborated with the Germans, some more willingly than others. Christian Dior designed for Nazi wives while working at the Paris fashion house of Lucien Lelong alongside Pierre Balmain. Coco Chanel is documented as having been an agent for the Third Reich.
"After the war, a joint effort by couturiers, Theatre de la Mode (dressed dolls that traveled on display throughout the world) eased uneasy minds over rumours of collaboration with the Nazis during the occupation of Paris (1940 - 1944). France was eager to move forward and forget the past; Paris painlessly regained its primacy, indeed Christian Dior's New Look of 1947 - so-named for a remark by Harper's Bazaar's Carmel Snow - was the locomotive of that.
"Death by Dior deals with the bitterness of Françoise Dior at losing an inheritance from the House of Dior, her sexual affair with her daughter Christiane, and Christiane's subsequent - and consequent - suicide. Françoise ties the noose and places the chair with her own hands.
"Christian Dior had an intimate relationship with his niece. He'd replaced her father very early in life, although Françoise was the illegitimate child of an Hungarian aristocrat with not a drop of Dior blood. Book author Terry Cooper writes about the need that Françoise felt to make an aristocratic marriage. Her first marriage joined her to one of the most illustrious families in France, de Caumont La Force, whose distinction dates back to the time of the Roman Catholic First Crusade -- led by the most powerful nobles of France. The couple had one daughter, Christiane.
"The reader sees Christiane de Caumont La Force as a slender pale-haired young teen, holding a puppy or standing with her horse, always gazing at her pet, not at the camera. A beautiful girl.
"Born in 1957, just days after Christian Dior died, Christiane was named for him in a rush of last-minute sentiment, but by that time Dior had needed, "medication to wake up, to have an appetite to eat, to stay awake, to have an erection, and, finally, to go to sleep; his day was one long series of injections," writes Cooper. Françoise objected to this and Christian disinherited her.
"Cooper himself has a sexual past (he describes group sex) with both mother and daughter and portrays them in unflattering of terms. Cooper's association with Françoise began during her second marriage. In 1963, Françoise had married Colin Jordan, leader of the British neo-Nazi party. The bride wore 3 strands of pearls and a swastika pendant.
"Old television reel shows Françoise toss off a casual but emphatic, "Vénérer le Führer" (translation reads "I love/venerate Hitler") and Cooper says that this remark was made at the height of her determination to "avenge the death of Dior," which she imagined was a Jewish plot.
"Françoise lost interest in the world of fashion after the death of her uncle, but Cooper says that "Dior made many dresses for her while at the same time she had free choice in his boutique."
A young, glamorous Françoise, intent on making a fine marriage, had frequented elite Paris clubs.
"Years later at Maxim's in Paris, whenever Françoise came in for dinner -- escorted by Terry Cooper -- they still played for her the "Lili Marleen." A hit for Marlene Dietrich with German and Allied troops alike. (Christian Dior designed Marlene Dietrich's dresses for the Alfred Hitchcock film Stage Fright, 1950)."
Death by Dior, by Terry Cooper
Publisher: Dynasty Press Ltd
About Alison Winfield Burns
Alison Winfield Burns is the author of the forthcoming memoir, Infatuation (excerpted in poet Allen Ginsberg's Bombay Gin, Naropa Press). She is a Manhattan writer, painter, and art critic whose work is currently featured on The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alison-winfield-burns
About Dynasty Press (http://www.dynastypress.co.uk)
Dynasty Press is a boutique Publishing House specializing in works connected to royalty, dynasties and people of influence. Committed to the freedom of the press to allow authentic voices and important stories to be made available to the public, Dynasty Press boldly publishes titles which reveal and analyse the lives of figures placed in the upper echelons of international society. Recent Dynasty titles include the New York Times Best Seller, The Untold Life of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (jointly with St. Martin's Press) by Lady Colin Campbell, Dangerous Score by Mike Bearcroft (published to benefit The Hillsborough Family Support Group) and Brighton Babylon by Peter Jarrette.
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