Trends come and go, but every once in a while a piece comes along that truly changes the face of fashion. One such design is the Bar jacket, dreamt up by up-and-coming couturier Christian Dior in the aftermath of World War II. His New Look silhouette, defined by a nipped-in waist, rounded shoulders and basques that accentuated the smooth curves of the hip, was an ode to femininity – a symbol of romance and joie de vivre following years of austerity.
The jacket soon became a wardrobe icon, worn and loved by the world’s most stylish women (think Marlene Dietrich, then; and Alexa Chung, now). Over the years it’s been reworked and re-imagined, rendered in denim, checks, knits and black granite tweed, and now sits at the heart of the house’s permanent collection, 30 Montaigne.
Courtesy of Dior
For cruise 2020, artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri collaborated with artists Mickalene Thomas and Grace Walles Bonner, combining crochet with Caribbean embroidery techniques to striking effect, while for fall 2021, the blazer was splashed with leopard print – a look inspired by Christian Dior’s original muse (and proponent of a wild sartorial statement), Mizza Bricard.
Courtesy of Dior
Photographed by Daniel Goode. Styled by Monica Russell
Yet while the Bar jacket has been reinvented and reinterpreted time and again – and will continue to evolve and transform – its essence remains the same. Timeless, chic and forever iconic.
Kathryn MaddenKathryn Madden is the Deputy Features Director of marie claire magazine, and spends her days writing about feminism, fashion and everything in between. She’s also written for Grazia, InStyle, Qantas and Home Beautiful, and is the editor and founder of Lonely Continent.