Miss Dior: A Story of Courage and Couture

Farrar. Oct. 2021. 448p. ISBN 9780374210359. $40. BIOG
Designer Christian Dior’s beloved sister Catherine was immortalized in name and spirit with his “Miss Dior” parfum. Biographer and Harper’s Bazaar UK editor in chief Picardie (Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life) focuses on Catherine and her Second World War involvement in this biography. At the start of the war, Christian and Catherine both retreated to Provence, where Catherine fell in love with Hervé des Charbonneries, a married man and member of the French Resistance. She also joined the Resistance and was arrested by French Gestapo in July 1944; unrelenting after their vicious interrogation, Catherine was deported to Ravensbrück concentration camp. In May 1945, she was repatriated in unrecognizable condition. Afterward, Catherine lived out a relatively quiet life with Charbonneries. Picardie’s biography exhibits deep appreciation for Christian and a craving to understand Catherine’s life; the only detriment is the limited glimpses into Catherine’s life, perhaps because too much time is devoted to a wider narrative of World War II. The book includes photographs of the Dior family, illustrations of their personal keepsakes, and reproductions of their art—an added bonus.
VERDICT Outstanding scholarship reveals Catherine Dior’s participation in the French Resistance. Overall, this is a haunting biography that carefully examines Catherine’s largely unexplored life and will have broad appeal to fashion or World War II enthusiasts.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing