Thursday 6th October
St Peter's Church, Broad Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 4BB
Justine Picardie unpicks Miss Dior, a wartime story of freedom and fascism, beauty and betrayal.
Miss Dior explores the relationship between the visionary designer Christian Dior and his beloved younger sister Catherine, who inspired his most famous perfume and shaped his vision of femininity. Justine Picardie’s journey takes her to wartime Paris, where Christian honed his couture skills while Catherine dedicated herself to the French Resistance and the battle against the Nazis, until she was captured by the Gestapo and deported to the German concentration camp of Ravensbruck. Tracing the wartime paths of the Dior siblings leads Picardie deep into other hidden histories, and different forms of resistance and sisterhood. She discovers what it means to believe in beauty and hope, despite our knowledge of darkness and despair, and reveals the timeless solace of the natural world in the aftermath of devastation and destruction.
Justine Picardie is the author of six books, including Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life. She is a contributing editor to Harper’s Bazaar, having previously been its editor-in-chief. She was formerly an investigative journalist for the Sunday Times, a columnist for the Telegraph, editor of the Observer Magazine and features director of Vogue.