For some, luxury is defined by its disproportionate price tag. For others, it’s a term that better indicates a product’s refusal to compromise on quality, whether through the fine details of a gorgeous brocade or beaded guipure laces, or anything demonstrating the overall employment of superior standards and materials.
For many, the very concept of luxury boils down to the attainment of savoir-faire. Through the lens of haute couture, savoir-faire entails a polished sureness that suggests a certain style, accomplishment, and refinement. Or, more literally, a certain know-how.
Here we look at the expert craftsmanship behind the Bar Jacket by Christian Dior.
The Bar Jacket
Images provided by Christian Dior
For Dior, the namesake of designer Christian Dior and purveyor of some of the world’s most coveted luxury ready-to-wear fashion, craftsmanship isn’t just entrenched in its storied past. It is front and centre in how the brand trains its next generation of artisans, constantly rolling out creative apprenticeship programmes across its business, all in the hopes of attracting young talent and maintaining its savoir-faire.
The result? Iconic pieces that maintain the creative expertise established since Dior’s 1946 inception.
Equal parts virtuoso myth and stylistic House emblem, the Bar Jacket is one such icon. It’s long been hailed as an exaltation of Dior’s excellence of savoir-faire, recognizable for the extreme finesse of its cinched waist, soft shoulders, open neckline, and basques, which so effortlessly accentuate the shape of the hips.
First presented over 70 years ago at Dior’s debut fashion show, the Bar Jacket is nothing short of a bona fide feat of sartorial skill, where a painstaking series of steps encompassing pattern-making, cutting, and assembly all intersect to create an architectural work, not just a signature wardrobe mainstay.
Owing to its very structural approach, its construction is special in all facets. Not so much in how it is associated with a particular type of woman, but more in how it resembles an object of desire. How its shape is perpetually reimagined in the shape of its given maker, while ensuring that its elegance and instantly recognizable aesthetic are still a crucial part of present-day collections. It is a Dior code, after all.
The Bar Jacket wields its share of historical symbolism, too. Fashion, of course, is often a reflection of the times. And when it initially made its arrival, back when European countries were in recovery from World War II and the notion of returning prosperity was in its earliest stages, the Bar Jacket was immediately dubbed the “New Look.” Not just a moment for the record books, but also a gateway to a lasting legacy. A timestamp of how silhouettes changed after the war, and a style template calling to every Dior creative director to follow in the footsteps of the fabled House founder.
Fittingly, the piece has been frequently revisited by those various creative directors over the years, including the current holder of the vaunted post, Maria Grazia Chiuri. What’s more, it is marking its 73rd anniversary. And, much as the Bar Jacket was an instant sensation then, it remains a smash hit today, thanks to its ever-evolving range of colours, fabrics, and proportions.
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