Once upon a time, Baby Dior was really just a special request from Princess Grace of Monaco to Monsieur Dior to design exquisite pieces for her future daughter Caroline. A few years later in 1967, Baby Dior the label was born. As a tribute to its very first beginnings, Princess Grace was invited to cut the symbolic ribbon at the opening of the new boutique. Continuing its royal tradition, Princess Caroline subsequently dressed her firstborn son, Andréa, in Baby Dior.
During its early years, Baby Dior concentrated on newborns and children (both boys and girls) up to the age of four. From the start, the French label had an expertise in beautiful christening gowns in embroidered silk, with abundant ruffles or draped with ribbons. For its more wearable pieces, the brand introduced different styles each season. The brand started with traditional English styles such as blazers, frock coats, smock dresses and sailor suits. In the seventies, pocketed pinafore and trapeze dresses were in vogue. Then, in the ’90s, the nautical look was the order of the day. Tastemakers such as Jane Birkin and Sophia Loren have decked their children in Baby Dior.
While its designs might change, Baby Dior still maintains its intrinsic DNA—the designs are classic and elegant, and distinctive signs are reworked into each season’s collections. For example, a feminine and sophisticated bow is often the finishing touch in many pieces of clothing. Dior’s most famous “Cannage” quilting, which was inspired by the look of the armchairs Christian Dior used for his fashion shows, are a recurring pattern.
Other house favourites include the embroidered “CD” logo, polka dots and floral patterns inspired by the lily of the valley and rose—Monsieur Dior’s beloved flowers. At the start of the ’90s, the label created floral prints that were an instant hit. A flower was chosen for the season and then featured often against a white background in different variations such as an all-over print and embroidery. Lucky charms, amulets and magic numbers were also an important part of Christian Dior’s life and used in collections.
Apart from design, craftsmanship is at the heart of each Baby Dior piece. Woven with delicate fabrics such as lace, silk and organza, its haute couture Exclusive line as proof for its excellent quality, is coveted by Dior’s special customers.
Today, Baby Dior caters to babies aged 3 months up to 6-year-old kids. This spring/summer 2014, the brand gets whimsical. Expect sweet floral patterns and appliqués on breezy fabrics like comfortable cotton or gossamer light silk dresses for girls. The colours are pretty in pink shades and bright fluorescents. For boys, the muted palettes like dusty blue and grey play up Baby Dior’s sophisticated tendencies. From shirts to berms and pants, the pieces are fuss free and are tailored to a comfortable fit.
A new Baby Dior boutique is now open at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.
By Rebecca Yap, Harper’s BAZAAR Junior Issue, June 2014