History of a Classic: Dior's Bar Jacket
14 February 2020

History of a Classic: Dior’s Bar Jacket

Today, we shine the spotlight on Dior‘s Bar Jacket, created in 1947 by Monsieur Christian Dior,  which led the way to his popularity and fame as one of the world’s leading couturiers of that era. Its unique silhouette, with its cinched waist, soft shoulders, open neckline, and basques which accentuated the hips, credited for kickstarting what has been dubbed as the New Look — a celebration of the sensuality of the curvy and voluptuous feminine form, enhancing it as if it had been moulded onto a woman’s body. Not only was this considered revolutionary for his time, but it has also transcended space and time, an icon that still remains relevant and modern in this day and age.

Dior Bar Jacket Atelier Hand Stitching

Dior Bar Jacket Pattern Cutting

This timeless icon has been a staple in a myriad of Dior’s collections, constantly being meticulously tweaked, constructed, and reinterpreted, on the runways. For Autumn/Winter 19/20 Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri breathed new life into the cult piece, creating a  sleeker and more masculine silhouette, with the addition of check motifs and denim effects. This was then carried over into the AW 19/20 Haute couture collection, where it appeared in black granite tweed with lots of draping in place of visible seams evinces the technical expertise of the Maison’s ateliers. The Bar Jacket too, stole the spotlight in the Cruise 2020 collection, showcasing a combination of crochet and Caribbean embroidery techniques in silk and hand-woven raffia; a collaborative effort between African-American visual artist Mickalene Thomas and Grace Wales Bonner.

Dior Bar Jacket Construction Process Atelier

Dior Black Bar Jacket

Though having been reinvented in a multitude of iterations, with plays on materials, shapes and cuts (as some experimented with a looser fit, and even a Bar Jacket inspired dress which formed part of Raf Simons’s oeuvre at Dior), the possibilities remain endless. One thing’s for sure, thanks to the creativity of the past and present Creative Directors at Dior, seeing the Bar Jacket on the runway never gets old, making it truly the epitome of what it means to be an eternal icon that has weathered the seasons, and will continue to do so, in  the years and generations to come.

Dior Black Bar Jacket Closeup

 

Images courtesy of Dior