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Rizzoli’s new book, “Dior Glamour: Photographs From 1952 to 1962,” by photographer Mark Shaw, showcases some beautiful shots of models in Dior fashion, often taken backstage, because Shaw had excellent access, working as he did for the then-preeminent publication Life.
There are 130 pictures here, and each seems more bewitching than the last, displaying the charms of Christian Dior’s favorite models. Many of the photos were taken during the couturier’s lifetime, although others show looks from later collections by Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Bohan. Shaw obviously loved fashion, and his photos are irresistibly exuberant and celebratory. They include some of the first fashion pictures made in color, and were found by Shaw’s estate in a hidden vault.
A double-page spread from Life magazine is reproduced, showing off the designer’s ethereal Gainsborough line for spring 1956, along with a Russian wolfhound on a ribbon leash. The cover features Eugénie Pompon from Dior’s cabine wearing a strapless dress and feather hat for fall 1954. A flowing terra-cotta dress and matching scarf from fall 1953 appears in a shot taken in Dior’s home in Paris, with its Napoleon III furniture. A fluid Danse dress for fall 1956 is shown by a model in a photo with a backdrop of a lit-up Paris at night. A girl in a charming tailored gray wool dress and matching hat from spring 1957 poses in front of the Art Nouveau entrance to the Paris Metro. There’s also a famous shot of girls in bright summer Dior dresses from fall 1957 riding a tram marked 19, Rue Auber/Manby, and one of the models in Dior from the same season on a vintage carousel. The Vicomtesse de Ribes, a good customer, appears in several photos. Shaw was also a noted portrait photographer, and there are also some photos of Elizabeth Taylor and the Kennedys.