Girl in Dior is a look at the life of Christian Dior. I almost hate to tell you anything about it, but I suppose the experience will be determined by your level of knowledge of Dior and the era in general. The thing is I became very attached to the main character and the way the story is told you really believe that this was a person plucked out of Dior’s life. Saying that you should be able to guess that they’re not a real person, though they share similarities with a real person. This character though is the greatest strength of the story and Annie Goetzinger deserves a ton of respect for creating a believable character, especially one this believable.
The story follows our main character Clara as she begins as a fashion reporter. She catches the rare invite to Dior’s premiere that lit the fashion world on fire. It’s throughout all this that we meet the people surrounding Dior. Goetzinger does a marvelous job of giving us real life background info on Dior by having characters gossip about him. It’s a simple device, but it’s very effective and doesn’t pull you out of the story. From this debut fashion show we continue to follow Clara who can see what Dior is doing to the world of fashion and is all for it. Eventually her career as a reporter ends, but she’s given a job as a model for Dior and becomes a part of the household. It’s here that we see the inner workings and continue to learn about the fashion designer.
Now this comic is very focused on fashion which isn’t something that people associate with the comic book crowd. And it may be even weirder that my next statement is that I enjoy a beautiful dress. Yeah I don’t think anyone familiar with my reading habits is finding Girl in Dior outside of my wheelhouse.
The art is beautiful. The coloring looks like lightly dabbed watercolors and it makes the fashion and the dresses wonderful. Much like I’m sure Dior intended the clothing is the star here, not the models. What’s really wonderful is that Goetzinger includes the references for everything in the back of the book.
Going back to the art though, Goetzinger still conveys a story with the visuals. Even the cameos in the story add to the tale and they’re never a full page of to show off or anything. The art really does a great job of capturing the Dior workplace, from the frantic deadlines, to the all night sessions. More importantly the book feels alive and it really places you there with Clara and Dior. I can’t emphasize enough on how beautiful the book is.
There’s a lot of history in this story and so that might put some people off. Personally I enjoy history and this book was charming because it was about a person I wouldn’t have sought to learn about. All the while it respected the art form of graphic novels and delivered a visual treat. You may think, “Girl in Dior isn’t for me”, but you may be surprised if you just give it a chance.