comicbookGRRRL Do not offend the chair leg of truth; it is wise and terrible.

5Feb/150

Panel Mania: Fashion Forward with ‘Girl in Dior’

This month's first Panel Mania spotlights the upcoming translation of French comics maestro Annie Goetzinger - Girl in Dior.

A love letter to fashion, Paris, and the House of Dior, NBM brings French superstar Annie Goetzinger to conquer the US, following in the footsteps of the titular designer. One of the rare Grandes Dames of comics in France, Goetzinger is well known for her blend of the historical and nostalgic, most often with a societal sting in the tale.

Her works (Agence Hardy, Paquebot, Le Tango du disparu), with their sumptuous Art Nouveau-influenced style, have rarely been translated for the English market, but Jeune fille en Dior perhaps has a wider audience than most – the world of fashion is rarely restricted by mere geographical borders.

The heroine of the title, Miss Clara Nohant, is a fictional creation serving as our viewpoint on the rise of Christian Dior and the fierce loyalty he inspired in those around him. Given little personality of her own, the cub reporter gazes in wonder upon his creations, with her mother and grandmother giving their own, generationally different, opinions.

For those looking for a hard-hitting historical expose, be warned – this is a feather light kiss upon history, with only a slightly belligerent sabre rattle of socialist concern, but oh the dresses. The beautiful, stylish, inspired dresses. Goetzinger’s background in fashion is apparent not only in the flowing lines of the countless outfits and the way they gloriously capture the light, but in the layouts, backgrounds, and characters of the entire comic.

This is for fans of beauty and refinement, both in comics and in clothing, an indulgent present for those who love fashion and the female form. The original French edition by Dargaud was praised for its lavish presentation and exquisite binding, a trait that NBM have consistently proved to be a mutual priority.

Goetzinger has been working in comics since the ‘70s, and while this is far lighter than most of her body of critically acclaimed work, it’s lovely to see a subject often derisively dismissed as “feminine” being treated with such love and respect. A guilty pleasure? No guilt required!

Girl in Dior opens with a quote from Dior himself: “In a machine age, dressmaking is one of the last refuges of the human, the personal, the inimitable.” Comics, perhaps, is a similar refuge.

Read the full preview here: Fashion Forward with ‘Girl in Dior’

Girl in Dior