Working for Christian Dior

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Working for Christian Dior

Are you a fan of fashion? Are you always looking for a good read?

By Laura Carson Miller

Fab independent London publishing house Zuleika has announced it offering, ‘Working for Christian Dior,’ by Jean Dawnay, in partnership with Dawnay’s daughter Katya Galitzine and available to purchase beginning Monday, March 4th. 

Timed to coincide with the V&A exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, this short narrative, with many re-discovered illustrations, recounts a model’s personal experience of working for Christian Dior. The text, taken from Jean Dawnay’s autobiography Model Girl, tells the story of her season working as a salon model for Dior’s Spring/Summer collection of 1950.

In this spontaneous, witty, and natural account, Dawnay provides the reader with glimpses of life as a model and shares much about Christian Dior himself – inviting us to delve under the couture veneer and glimpse both the man beneath and the extraordinary women who worked alongside him in this golden age of fashion. 

Jean Dawnay’s status as one of the original household names in modeling was cemented in 1950 when she became the first Englishwoman to work for Christian Dior as a mannequin in his Paris salon. Re-christened ‘Caroline’ by the famed designer, she became his muse, who embodied a quintessential sense of Englishness. She was a model following Dior’s acclaimed ‘New Look’. 

Dawnay was later known not only for her looks but also for her writing and particularly for her two autobiographical accounts of her modeling career, Model Girl, published in 1956 and How I Became a Fashion Model, published in 1958. She went on to marry a White Russian Prince and devoted herself to philanthropy in London and Russia, passing away in 2016.