Big picture: Sophia Loren for Christian Dior

She isn't listening to her husband, film producer Carlo Ponti, glimpsed in the mirror, yet the casual way she is seated on the floor suggests an intimacy

Her expression – fixed gaze, mid-cigarette puff, idly picking her thumbnail – says she's taking the wardrobe advice she's hearing seriously. But then Sophia Loren isn't listening to her husband, film producer Carlo Ponti, glimpsed in the mirror. She's taking advice from the Christian Dior studio during a fitting in 1960. The casual way she is seated on the floor suggests an intimacy. Unsurprising, given that the designer dressed her and countless other Hollywood stars for screenings, society events and general movie star gadding around. Dior also dressed the cinematic elite in their films: "Miss Sophia Loren's wardrobe specially created by Christian Dior" announce the credits for Stanley Donen's 1966 film Arabesque.

This image is taken from the book Stars In Dior, which aims to highlight the relationship between the House of Dior and Hollywood. They're all in there – from old-school cinematic goddesses such as Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly and Liz Taylor, with whom Dior became great friends (hence the floor and fag ambience), to those who favour the label for the red carpet today – Penélope Cruz, Marion Cotillard and Natalie Portman (the latter was quick to speak out against then Dior designer John Galliano in the wake of last year's scandal).

Cynics may see the book's timing as an attempt to shut the door on a bad year in terms of image (though not sales) for the fashion house, focusing as it does on all that is chic and glamorous about the brand. With a newly installed designer Raf Simons at the helm, poised to show his first couture collection in Paris next month, Dior is looking forward to rave reviews again. If all goes to plan, there is another chapter of Stars In Dior yet to be played out.

• Stars In Dior: From Screen To Streets is published by Rizzoli at £40. To order a copy for £32, including UK mainland p&p, go to

• This article was edited on 18 June 2012. In the original, we said that Loren was taking advice from Christian Dior himself, but the great couturier had died some years earlier, in 1957. This has been corrected.


Words: Imogen Fox

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Frozen in time: Sophia Loren, June 1964

Outrageous beauty, a million dollar movie deal and a dream home outside Rome: it's hard being Sophia Loren

Euan Ferguson

15, Sep, 2012 @11:05 PM

Article image
‘We were two giggling girls’: the day I had coffee with Sophia Loren
Jenny Selby-Green was a young reporter when she bumped into the film star in Aylesbury in 1958

Hannah Booth

27, Jan, 2017 @4:00 PM

Article image
The big picture: dreamweaver Christian Dior at work
Fashion designer Christian Dior is pictured in this 1955 image with his favourite model ‘Lucky’ in his Paris atelier

Rachel Cooke

30, Dec, 2018 @7:00 AM

Article image
Big picture: Christmas Tree Farm, by Phil Clarke-Hill
At first glance, this sea of amorphous forms, with their festive gauze bags and red tags, resemble the Christmas turkey, says Hannah Booth

Hannah Booth

21, Dec, 2012 @10:59 PM

Article image
Pictures of the week: The Way We Wore
From leotards to harem pants, Michael McCollom's collection of photos reveals the daring side of African-American fashion, says Hannah Booth

Hannah Booth

14, Feb, 2014 @4:30 PM

Article image
Big picture: Flying, by Sachigusa Yasuda

An uneasy, nausea-inducing vista of the world's cities

Hannah Booth

20, Jul, 2012 @9:59 PM

Article image
Big picture: Sandgrains, by Francesca Tosarelli

Destruction of the beaches and overfishing has brought drastic environmental consequences to Cape Verde, says Hannah Booth

Hannah Booth

19, May, 2012 @9:59 PM

Article image
Big picture: Spill, by Daniel Beltrá

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 'was like trying to clean an Olympic pool full of oil while sitting on the side using Q-tips', photographer Daniel Beltrá tells Hannah Booth

Hannah Booth

28, Sep, 2012 @10:00 PM

Article image
Big picture: Umbrella, by Kieran Doherty

This Liberian girl, even though she was wading through filthy water, was aware of the style statement she was making. By Hannah Booth

Hannah Booth

16, Nov, 2012 @10:59 PM

Article image
Big picture: Gold teeth, by Laurisa Galvan

'One smile tells anyone this man is powerful enough not to be messed with'

Hannah Booth

19, Oct, 2012 @9:59 PM