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Miss Dior is a wartime story of freedom and fascism, beauty and betrayal and ‘a gripping story’ (Antonia Fraser).
‘Exceptional . . . Miss Dior is so much more than a biography. It’s about how necessity can drive people to either terrible deeds or acts of great courage, and how beauty can grow from the worst kinds of horror.’
Miss Dior explores the relationship between the visionary designer Christian Dior and his beloved younger sister Catherine, who inspired his most famous perfume and shaped his vision of femininity. Justine Picardie’s journey takes her to wartime Paris, where Christian honed his couture skills while Catherine dedicated herself to the French Resistance and the battle against the Nazis, until she was captured by the Gestapo and deported to the German concentration camp of Ravensbrück.
Tracing the wartime paths of the Dior siblings leads Picardie deep into other hidden histories, and different forms of resistance and sisterhood. She discovers what it means to believe in beauty and hope, despite our knowledge of darkness and despair, and reveals the timeless solace of the natural world in the aftermath of devastation and destruction.
‘Extraordinary . . . Picardie uses her investigative reporting skills . . . the result is Netflix-worthy and the pace page-turning . . . Catherine’s story shines — the quiet Dior who preferred flowers to fashion, the unsung heroine who survived the abuse of the Third Reich to help liberate France.’
A gripping story in which Justine Picardie brilliantly contrasts the cruel Old World of wartime France with the hopeful New World epitomised by Christian Dior’s New Look: all centred round his sister Catherine Dior, a Resistance heroine.
An incredible story of courage, endurance and passion.
Exceptional . . . Picardie navigates with the intelligence and sympathy you would expect . . . Miss Dior is so much more than a biography. It’s about how necessity can drive people to either terrible deeds or acts of great courage, and how beauty can grow from the worst kinds of horror.
[A] well-researched and disquieting narrative . . . Engrossing . . . Picardie skilfully interweaves what she has learned about Catherine's experiences in 1944-5 with more general and often illuminating details about the Resistance, the camps, the world of fashion, and the postwar trials . . . thoughtful and frequently harrowing.
Catherine’s story is beautifully, hauntingly told in spare and elegant prose by Picardie. The archive photographs — there are more than 400 — are moving and evocative . . . beguilingly told.
[A] moving and beautifully illustrated historical biography.
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