At a first glance, Annie Goetzinger’s graphic novel Girl In Dior may be seen as a mere retelling of how the Christian Dior couture house and the New Look came to be. However, what makes this different from existing literature about the designer and his couture house is a delightful, almost cinematic narrative of a graphic novel that gives life beyond the facts that highlighted the beginnings of the Dior couture house to the powerhouse luxury brand that it is today.
The story of Girl in Dior follows Clara and her journey as the eponymous girl in Dior. Clara is a young fashion journalist assigned to cover the fashion show for Christian Dior’s inaugural couture collection in 1947. While on assignment, Clara suddenly finds herself right in the middle of Dior’s world. She becomes a replacement model during one of his fashion shows and as the years went by, she eventually develops a deeper bond with Christian Dior and his atelier. As the story progresses, the focus of the novel shifts to the history of Dior, and the designer’s influence on women’s fashion during the fifties and in the succeeding decades. This shift is inevitable, since the graphic novel is touted as a love letter to the fashion house.
On the other hand, the accompanying illustrations in Girl In Dior are reflective of the mood and spirit of the famed couture house during its beginnings and early success. Meaning, the illustrations show the grandeur of the clothes released during Dior’s early collections. The dreamy, voluminous gowns, the jackets with nipped-in waists, and other pieces in the famed couturier’s early collections are shown in the illustrations in the graphic novel. Excluding the dialogue and the plot, the illustrations in Girl In Dior can be mistaken for early fashion illustrations from the Dior archive.
Overall, Girl In Dior is a graphic novel that exceeds the expectations of a biography of the famed couturier and his atelier. The graphic novel is deemed as a work of historical fiction that serves as a fitting homage to the rich history of Dior and its enduring influence on fashion today. Although there are certain implausible elements in the story, fashionphiles or first-time readers of graphic novels will enjoy Girl in Dior because it is heartfelt and delightful.