This Dior Inspired Elopement in Paris, France finds inspiration from Catherine Dior’s life and romance with Herve Papillautarve.
Photographer and Designer, Amy Mulder, has always been inspired by the life of Catherine Dior. While many people associate the household name ‘Dior’ with Catherine’s iconic older brother, Christian, her own life is just as influential. So much so, in fact, that she even inspired Christian’s famous debut scent, Miss Dior!
Born in 1917, Catherine was the youngest of 5 children. At the time, the Dior family was living a prosperous life cushioned by their father’s success in the fertilizer industry. Unfortunately, after a failed business venture, the Great Depression, and their mother’s death in 1931, the Dior family’s wealth evaporated. In 1935, the Dior’s moved from their estate in Granville, Villa Les Rhumbs, to live on a run-down farm in Callian, a Provence near Grasse, the flower-growing capital of France. Life on the farm was lonesome for Catherine and in spite of her newfound love for flowers, she soon escaped to live with Christian in Paris. A new world of art, fashion, and bohemian living awaited her, but it didn’t last long. World War II broke out in 1939 and Catherine was again catapulted into a new life.
Fleeing to the South of France, Catherine would soon meet and fall in love with Herve Papillautarve, a member of the French Resistance, who also happened to be a married father of three. By 1941, she joined him to fight with the Resistance using the code name Caro. Three years later, she was arrested and eventually sent to a series of concentration camps before finally escaping in 1945. She reunited with her family and Herve in Paris to lead a quiet life with her love of flowers at the forefront. Like her brother, she ventured into fragrances and even purchased her own rose farm.
Ultimately, Catherine Dior was a complex individual whose life, filled with passion, scandalous love, and verve for justice, deserves attention. And Amy’s styled shoot does just that! Her detailed imagining of what Catherine’s nuptials might have looked like brings her story to the forefront. The resulting photos are a visually stunning venture into Catherine & Herve’s little-known romance.
More details on Catherine Dior’s life and words from Amy herself below!
- Date of shoot: May 26, 2022
- Location: Paris, France
- Theme: Dior Inspired Elopement
- Photographer & Designer: Amy Mulder Photography
I am so inspired by the life of Catherine Dior. This is a nod to her and her lover, Herve Papillautarve, whom she met during WWII when they were both fighting with the French Resistance. I created, designed and styled this to be reflective of her personality and their relationship. Confident yet reserved. An introspective quietness that could be misunderstood as cold and detached. She had a full understanding of who she was and what she stood for. An elopement is exactly what she would have wanted.
I took her love of gardening and flowers as well as her personality and chose a gown and suit that would be unique for a bride and groom, including the groom wearing a shirt with butterflies on it – Catherine’s animal she picked to place in her family garden. And while they had portraits in Paris, they would host a very small and intimate gathering at their private country home surrounded by the gardens she loved.
The stationery was something I was very specific about, the names had to be Caro & Eric – Catherine and Herve’s code names during the war. A Paris soireé with ceremony the following day at their holiday home in Granville. Pinkish and grey coloring to reflect their childhood home and Christian’s favorite colors. Address is 10 Rue Royale – the address of Christian and Catherine’s home during the war. And as a nod to her brother, Christian, a tiger hidden in their reception flowers. Every detail was intentional and serves a special and deep purpose.
Also as a nod to Christian, I had a lifestyle shoot reflecting a young girl who works as a mannequin and also is an aspiring designer. If you look at her wandering and drawing inspiration from the city, you see the sketches that ultimately are the elopement gown.
A walk in the gardens…
In her element…
Decor & place setting…
An unbreakable love…
Looking for more inspiration like this Catherine Dior inspired elopement?
- Hosted by: Ross & Amy of The Seasons Workshops
- Concept, design, styling, & planning: Amy Mulder Photography
- Makeup: Stacie Ford Beauty & Dior Beauty
- Hair: Widnie Alexis
- Florals: L’arrosoir Paris & Myra Stafford
- Stationery: A Fine Press
- Gown: Marchesa
- Mens attire: Chris Von Martial
- Rings & earrings: Maison Artaner Paris
- Biscuits: So Bang Tea Time Paris
- Champagne bottles: Styled by Stiles
- Cake: Synie’s Paris
- Models: Rachell Bell & Brian Nicklen
- “Christian Dior’s sister was a WWII hero — and famous scent’s inspiration” by Raquel Laneri | NY Post
- “Sister Act: A Closer Look at the Quietly Influential Life of Catherine Dior” by LAIRD BORRELLI-PERSSON | Vogue
- “Catherine Dior” by Christine Wells | Christine Wells Blog
- “Catherine Dior, Christian’s Sister, Was a French Resistance Hero. This Is Her Amazing Story.” by Alaina Demopoulos | The Daily Beast