Dior Cruel Trick

Dior in Russia 1

Christian Dior is one of the most expensive luxury cloths brands. It is so now, and it was so 30 years ago too. But what have they done 30 years ago according to those LIFE photos was an organized trip to Russia for a group of model looking ladies wearing all-new Dior luxury stuff walking on the streets of Moscow.
Of course, as I understand the main purpose of this action was to shoot so cool-looking ads when the so expensive looking Dior models shot on the streets of the dully dressed Russian women, but what did those Russian ladies felt – they were for years deprived from any designer cloths. Not even they couldn’t buy the luxury expensive designers dress but they neither couldn’t buy ANY dress designed for someone else except a Communist Designers Company – those people there didn’t care much about design – they had no any competition – so the cloths available in Soviet stores was far away from being called stylish, and any, just any item which got inside the iron curtain from the abroad was treated as an icon, the pair of just simple blue levi jeans were just an unachievable dream for many Russian people at that times. And in such an atmosphere those girls were walking around the Moscow.

Dior in Russia 2

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130 thoughts on “Dior Cruel Trick”

  1. these ads are so patronizing towards russians.
    these russian women *had* clothes, whereas before they may had lived in extreme poverty as peasants.
    i’m not trying to justify the CCCP, but still, the West has propaganda of its own.

    what do you all think about these photos?

    • I remember reading about a visit of Boris Yeltsin to the USA, early 90’s. He was visiting Houston, Texas and was shown a typical American supermarket.

      After taking a tour he sat down, buried his head in his hands and sighed: ‘My God, what have we done to our people’. He was facing an aspect of the western reality after hearing and having been indoctrinated by all the communist propaganda about the corrupted west. He saw that people were in general prosperous and could shop till they dropped. Unlike the USSR, where everything was restricted and something fashion did not exist. Goods were produced according to the rule ‘Produce what the people need’ – leading to hilarious statements on the doors of shops like ‘Today no ham is needed’ etc.

      You will still find people making statements like ‘Russia has its own way’ and ‘we should not copy the west’ and condemning the west and its ways in general. But when asked what the russian way is and how i.e. corruption fits in, they have no answer and start proclaiming irrelevant geo-political talk. And more often than not one will find out that these people have never traveled anywhere. Might even be reluctant to do so, because, just like Yeltsin, they would have to face reality. Which is not that bad, although not perfect.

      • “leading to hilarious statements on the doors of shops like โ€˜Today no ham is neededโ€™”

        hehhhheheheheheheh That’s some funny (and SAD) stuff…

      • These will be all of the western shops that are going bust everyday due to uncontrolled capitalism? Well, it was good while it lasted. I’ve always had ham!

        • I kind of never liked ham. Some stringy, tasteless, chewy thing. I always preferred bacon myself – bake a lot of it in the oven, or fry eggs with it! mm-mmmm! =)

    • By the looks on the faces of the people the photo shoot was a real slap in the face, the models looked shamefully well dressed. I’d question LIFE’s motives too.

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  4. Come on now Russia is not that bad is it.So what if it is necessary to boil the brownish tap water if you want to drink it in the small apartment with only 2 big rooms and a thick steel door you unlock with a prison key with the winter temp down to -20 and in your bare feet because that is a old custom your shoes should not be on in the house and weeds growing everywhere outside and not every road is paved and you should never smile in public!!

    • Hehehhehehe… nicely put.
      Also I must admit, those were some brave fashion girls that volunteered for the task – I mean the russians look like they’re drooling to cannibalize them right there!

      • I will return again for one more time.There are many pretty ladies there.Not many smile.The cute young waitress with the pierced nose at the restaurant smiled most of the time at me.She had the chance to speak english to an american.I love Russia but I don’t!

  5. The photos are much older than 30 years. Judging by the fashion and the fact that IIRC Life magazine went bankrupt in early 70s, I think the photos are from early 60s.

    I just wonder whether this was a joke by Dior or Life’s photographer/editor. And maybe it was not a joke at all – maybe a bunch of wives of the diplomats just went for a little walk…

    How comes KGB did not confiscate the film? ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Right. Go for a walk in Moscow to see hundreds of homeless, drug-addicted children, thousends of aggressive wild dogs, and other signs of the russian “culture”.

    • I like to visit and pet the homeless children. Sometimes I give them dolls. My favorite to give them is a little creation of my own I call “Mahmoud Mouse.” It’s a cuddly toy, and when you pull the string in the back, the toy mouse says, “My father was a dirty Westerner who came to Russia, impregnated my mother, and abandoned her.”

      As for the aggressive wild dogs . . . are you speaking of the English and Scots guys coming to Moscow to drink and buy cheap girls?

      • Yikes! You had me fooled; for a second there I was sure you were going to say your little Mahmoud Mouse cuddly toy explodes sending the child to a better place…

    • I have seen millions of drug addicted children in USA. Compared to that country drug problem in Russia is nothing.

      i lived in both countries, i currently live in moscow. in a single trip to NYC i seen more homeless people that i have seen in one year of living in moscow.

      there are homeless people in every city in the world

      and the homeless dogs are not aggressive, they are more accustomed to people. its the domesticated dogs that are kept on the leash always want to rip apart the next stranger they see.

      i have been bitten by a dog 4 times in my life, not a single one of those dogs was homeless.

      • I have lived in the USA my whole live and have never seen a single drug addicted child – AND I go to NYC all the time.

      • i actually like homeless dogs a lot, they are very nice to people and they seem to be a lot smarter then most domesticated dogs.

  7. how did dior get visa?

    fail of iron curtain and I can’t get visa. How do I bring my lovely bloke home from steppes of Russia to Australia if I can’t get visa?

  8. Esli ty Ryskie, ty dolzhin ponematัŒ shto yja cechas tebe ckazhy:

    Malinkoi govnuk, ty adna ctyd dljya Rossie, I Ryskih. Rosija adna civiliziravanaia ctrana (Kak CCCP byl), I boli, adna bagatyja ctrana. Yja rad pridatilskie cyyki kak ty ojehali na vcegda.

  9. It’s time consuming to get a VISA in Russia. The bureaucracy.. Tbh, you could try bribing them instead of running around like a mad cow every 3rd day.

    • Better even would be to vote for better politicians that might fight the corruption and bureaucracy.

      AS for NY, you must be kidding. It is like Disneyland nowadays. I guess you watch too many movies.

  10. Another LIFE photograph you probably know:


    I’d like top see also these Dior girls in the streets of Paris in 60ies… especially in a street market, like on those photos.

  11. I lived in New York and Moscow. Current Moscow better city to live in. It is really a question of having the money. Moscow is not cheap, but more culture then New York. Unless you want broadway musicals, then Moscow has fewer. Speaking English is problem in both cities.

    These photographs were cold war PR. Look at fashion photographs from CCCP times on this site. It is clear PR for west. Yes Soviet women dress this way, but not all. It is all about winning cold war minds in west. It was not about really showing Soviet women with western fashions.

    • Holy Krap!
      “Speaking English is problem in both cities” <– that’s actually true AND funny! =) I guess, pretty much in every neighborhood I’ve lived in NYC, the majority of people didn’t speak English as their native language. What am I trying to say?
      USA = happiness, chance, tolerance.
      Rushhhhhia = getting killed if you don’t look white.

      • When started to learn Russian, I got a copy of the Russian language course made for the army during World War II. The first lesson has words related to smoking. I was thinking I will never use this. It is really dated.

        My first night walking down the street in Moscow. I was stopped by a man who needed a light. In five nights that week, I needed the words 6 times. I was glad I had that course. Who wants to be new in a city and at 23:30 be asked something without understanding the words?

        As for New York, I did not go to some neighborhoods. It was not safe for a white. Maybe 20 years later it is different, but I assume some parts of a large city are safer and others are not so safe.

        • “As for New York, I did not go to some neighborhoods”
          Obviously, man.

          Wait, you said “20 years later” – what do you mean? =)
          Good Lord, maybe you’re some traveler that’s all over the world and hasn’t been to NYC in 20 yrs???

          In that case, let me tell you: NYC is pretty much, the safest place on Earth nowadays. I guess due to the heavy police presence (or maybe we’ve finally learned to live next to each other <- I like to believe that =))

  12. I like pic No. 8 : http://englishrussia.com/images/soviet_dior/8.jpg .

    Judging by their facial expressions, the guy and the girl are thinking very different thoughts. I approximately may guess what kind of. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. I’ve definitely put it a little stronger than I meant. Still, the complacency of the Russian people amazes me.

    Throughout their history they have been treated like dirt moved by a bulldozer: Ivan Grozny, Peter, Stalin, etc. Yet they’ve never really rose up like the oppressed people in France, Britain, colonial America. The fact that those people always seemed to be OK with living in dirt is what I hate about Russians <– that’s in regards to your argument that it’s only the government’s fault.
    Read: I’m 100% Russian, NOT A JEW.

    As far as things being cheaper in Russia – don’t you think that that’s been changing? How come Russians always say “Moscow is a very expensive city!” with some kind of pride? They consider it an achievement? Some kind of a measure of a country’s success? I mean the fact that they can afford less.

    • I always thought there was a good side to russians living like dirt. People in russia are very different in a good way then people from the west who always lived a very good lifestyle.

      one of the examples by what i mean is, in russia if something breaks (like a car or airconditioning) most owners will try to fix it themselves as in USA most people will call a specialist. Most people there will also try to recycle things. I am that kind of a person myself.

      russians are the kind of people who pretty much dont care who is their leader for the most part. (if they did, Yeltsin would have never been elected for the second term)

      as for moscow being insanely expensive is because there is more billioneres there than NYC, only london is ahead i think (even their billionares are russian like abramovich and berizovsky)

      there are a lot of filthy rich folks thats why its expensive. but there are also plenty of things that are more affortable in moscow that in US (masachussets where i used to live) a lot of apartments are cheaper and a decent collage costs much less then $30000/year

      6 years of the moscow aviation institute is about $10000

      finally since the public transport in moscow is cheap and convenient i can save a lot of money on buying a car, paying taxes on it, paying for insurance and gas as well as the $300 on the driving lessons that i threw away.

      In US you cant live without a car especially in the suburbs where most people live

      • Happiness begins in your heart/soul/spirit man, not in the surrounding world. The world you live in of course makes the impact but it still comes from within.

        • I totally understand you, but I wanna say that you chose what you want to see every second in your life. In other words if your soul is filled with joy and happiness, you will find the way how to change bad circumstances to good wherever you go.

      • I agree that it is nice to try to fix things when they break, and I also like how in Russia things come with not so much packaging on them, since that seems very wasteful. In US stores are finally cutting back on giving out so many plastic bags.

        You might want to check your statistics on billionaires after the recent economic crisis. And I’m quite sure that there are other non-Russian billionaires in the UK.

        But as a current Massachusetts resident, I can attest that prices here are NOT typical of the rest of the country. My apartment here costs three times as much as my last one in Chicago. But would $1200 get you a 2-bedroom apartment in Moscow?

        And my (awesome) university cost $10000/year. Hell, you can still go to a community college for $2000/year.

        And you absolutely can live without a car in the US. I’ve done it for years.

        • I found it very hard to live in mass without a car (unless i was in a city)

          What collage do you go to?

          My friend in moscow rents out a one room apt for $800/ month and that’s considered cheap

  14. Clearly, I’ve put it stronger than I meant.
    I’m just angry with the fact that Russia with it’s resources always treated it’s people like dirt.

    Russia improved? Do you honestly see any other reason for the illusion of improvement than Russia just selling it’s natural resources and pretty much nothing else? How sad is that?

    A culture that is based on “fast food, laziness and shopping”? =)
    True, we are a nation of consumers, but how about this:
    A culture based on ambition, resourcefulness, healthy competition, ever-present sense of justice, and above all, independence.

    • @russian_NYC

      you are right in a way.

      Oil is gambling for russia and with the crisis and cheaper oil, russia got burned badly.

      thats why they should build up the industry and science. After thats done the economy will build itself

      • Yeah man, that’s pretty much exactly what I’m thinking!!!
        Question is: WHEN??? Because right now, those people are just selling off their natural resources.

        Good Lord, surely the country that produced the T-34, the AK-47, the IL-2, their own unique auto industry, the TU-22M, surely that country can sell NOT ONLY their goddamn natural resources. Time to start exporting the Russian genius in manufacture (look up Mr. Sikorsky) What’s up? =(

        • as soon as the government stops trying to be capitalist.

          last summer putin said that russia will build its ecomy by investing in the stock market (witch makes up %1 of russian economy)

          later that summer because of some scandal he threatened the Norilsk- nickel metallurgy company.

          their shares plummeted, 60 billion dollars were lost

          if he was smart, he would threaten them quietly so noone would know

    • aside from natural resourses, dont forget weapons and vodka.

      russia is the only country with a large military industry that sells off 70% of all military production.

      Don’t you think its a national security risk to blindly sell it so other countries can reverse engineer all the good stuff and possibly use it against russia.

      US sells only 10% of its military production and even that ONLY goes to NATO members.

      I dont mean to be a commie but the KPRF has some smart people in their party. I bet they long gave up on their communist ambitions but they still know what needs to be done and how to do it right!

      last presidential election KPRF came in 2nd place

  15. Shopping seems to be a high priority these days, at least in Moscow where I live. And I would not call some of the people exactly hard working either.

    • I wish bro! Err… I actually might. Oregon is almost like my definition of Paradise: not quite Alaska, but… I really don’t know how to put it. I’m just this knob who watched too many documentaries =)
      Anyway, Oregon is the most beautiful place there is (I think)

        • Aren’t you guys like neighbors there??? I mean Washington is right there just to the North (if I’m correct) But GODDARNIT, people living there take for granted those precious places.

          One thing is to delineate state borders, another thing is to live in that wonderland. Ahh… give me that, and I’m all set pretty much. The thing is (LOL) I don’t think I’d last there for long =)

          I’m just this accustomed city dweller that you guys propably make fun of regularly =)
          But you know what? One day I’ll move there damnit!!!!!! =)

          • Yes we are neighbors ๐Ÿ™‚ , Portland is about 3 hours drive from Seattle. Also Canada is like 40 minutes from my place in Washington ๐Ÿ™‚ . I go there for hot springs in winter time, there are some hot springs in Washington and Oregon but in Canada they have nice hotel and restaurant with live music(professional), indoor and outdoor pools, so I like it there a lot, oh and beautiful nature too ๐Ÿ™‚

            • Hey did u catch the recent post here about hot springs in Russia? Pretty interesting.

              I guess what I was referring to in my ravings about Oregon and Washington – is this pristine nature. I grew up in Russia, I love snow, so when I watch some typical dumbed-down documentaries about the North West, with those beautiful trees and blindingly white snow , it’s actually one of the things that keeps me going! Maybe… one day =)

              One other argument I always get into with people on forums: I could never hunt. I dunno, I just don’t think I could aim and shoot a deer, it’s just so f-d up! Hehehh, but I don’t have a problem with fishing though! How’s fishing over there? =)

              • never hunted either, fishing is highly popular over here but I`m not into it either ๐Ÿ™ (I`m a businessman and producer, never have time). The nature is really cool here, totally different from russian though….

                • LOL, remember that guy Michael Moore commenting in his movie that Washington has 1 trooper protecting it’s border? I’m not even going to start on how many levels that was cheap and wrong of him to say in his movie – especially in the way he did.

  16. well the joke is on the west now, while they have the overweight unattractive girls, russian women are the most attractive in the world (and way better dressed too). Most people in NA dress like slobs (uggs, crocs and sweatpants anyone?)

    • Your POV is too limited. Indeed, girls between 15-29 can be stunning, but that also applies to other countries. After 30 they quickly gain weight and lose their figures, with some exceptions, as always. Young people tend to think that old and ugly people made wrong choices, like it’s their fault they did not stay young and good-looking. Well, most of those bag ladies in the supermarket used to be stunning, too! But anyway. You have beauties and scarecrows. Russian girls are overdoing it a bit [to my taste at least] with the clothes and the make-up. Stiletto heels, fishnet stockings, short skirts in the middle of winter and layers of make-up [which most of them do not need at all] make them look a bit cheap. Which is a pity, because they are not. In general they are sweet and smart. They just want to find a husband and use their assets to the max.

  17. Great photos. They generate a lot of mixed feelings on my part, and it looks like the women of Moscow had mixed feelings about it all, too. Only the models are inscrutable. If they had been real people, then it would have been even more interesting.

  18. Dear God! This is called shamelessness! I live in a country near Russia, in Romania, and we, too knew the communist regime and not having a lot of things. I well imagine what I would have done if all thee models would have paraded on my street in those times – jumped on them and torn all those fancy clothes to pieces! Life magazine had no sense of morals when they decided on that photo shoot. Shame on them! If you can do no good to a nation, at least don’t do harm.

    • Interesting point. Still, you have to remember, it was just a propaganda effort – like when the communists shouted all the time about a homeless person in NY =)
      20th century really was something! =)

  19. You disappoint me man. Same in the US??? Are you kidding me??? Of course its not the paradise here, but men, its not the same at all!!!
    I totally agree with maxD

    • Well, would you really say that our government really represents our interests? Not just an impression gotten in the wake of recent events, but, go back to post WW2. You really think our gov’t represents our interests as people? I don’t.

      What I meant was very general – I wasn’t comparing Russia to U.S.

      • Well, I wouldnt say that our government represent our interests 100%, BUT!!! Anybody can be heard here, ANYBODY! People are equal here! That`s what I enjoy. You can stay in line in a grocery store with your governor and talk about fishing and next day you see his picture in the magazine, but he didnt say a word about who he is. That`s the point.

        • I see what u’re saying, I completely agree, and that’s why, despite everything, I still think that America is not only the best country in the world – I actually think that it’s one of humanity’s most impressive achievements.
          BTW, very nicely illustrated with the grocery line example!

        • I do not agree.

          Just look at what happens to political opposition in Russia: they are beaten up, not allowed to participate in elections in some way or another. Demonstrations are never allowed unless it is in favor of the Kremlin – the recent demonstrations because of the import taxes on 2nd hand cars i.e.

          No, I do not agree. There are still many people that are afraid to speak out in public ‘you never know who is listening’ – mostly 30-plus, but still…

          • We are talking about US, not Russia, in Russia you are nothing, zero, nobody cares what you think, they actually do care if you think opposite, they will kick your butt soon as you open your mouth. You are right about opposition, look at the Kasparov party for example, Putin hates him… and Putin`s “Nashi” party are pro fascists!

  20. MaxD, educate yourself about Russian politics, and Medvedev’s vows before you try to make a point.

    Because you are wrong.

    PS. NY is like disneyland? Wow, have you even seen the statistics?

  21. We’ve had this discussion before. What is the difference with other corruption [if such a thing exists]?

    In my book, corruption is when you are operating in an improper way, for your own benefit and at someone else’s expense. In Russia, corruption is a direct effect of the way the government operates, like not paying normal decent salaries to their teachers, the police, the legal service [judges] and the military. Because of this people start getting creative [selling diploma’s, court verdicts, good medical care and priviliges of whatever nature to those who have the money in order to get some money [and power] themselves – in effect giving more power, all power to those individuals, exactly what is happening now in Russia in a very shameless way]. All this happens at the expense of the poor or less ambitious ones – a small elite is in effect running the country [autocracy] the way they see fit [like in many countries in S-America and Africa: banana-republics we call those].

    Not good and will ruin the country in the long term.

  22. I see. Also, I must 100% agree with what you said:
    “I simply could not steal and that is the only way to prosper in Russia.” <– Unfortunately that’s true. How many centuries before it’ll change?

  23. Well these hard working ladys done all what they have done with theyr hands and honor and work not with cheap body i respect the hard working and strong females

  24. OK Kirov,I am sarcastic on this page about the way of life in Russia.I do like the people there.Some were suprised to see me and some wanted me to go home.And some women wanted to go home with me.But the kremlin will never be a true democracy like the west.I am sure there will be more protests about the government at red square in the future.Are you from or do you live in Russia?

  25. Well, aren’t you charming. Racist, antisemitic, and nostalgic for the filthy, misguided cesspool that was the USSR. If you miss it so much, why don’t you go back? Oh, that’s right, it died a slow death over forty years because a system that corrupt can’t sustain itself.

    And yes, it is about dresses. It is about a system that was so inherently flawed, unfair, and insurmountable that ordinary women couldn’t have something to wear that was aesthetically pleasing and of good quality. And the system was so invasive and controlling that such women had never even SEEN the possibility that pretty, quality clothes existed until the moment captured here.

  26. Any proof this was even in Russia? Life was caught stageing other photos.

    Every honest person will admit all governments have problems with corruption. It’s always been that way and probably always will.

    Over 100 years ago the engineer Vilfredo Pareto found that around 80% of the resources were controlled by 20% of the population in every major country – regardless of the type of government or claimed economic system. Today we use the Gini Coefficient to measure ‘fairness’ and despite all the propaganda it’s generally gotten worse in almost every country (Russia, US, China, etc) for 50 years.

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  28. Seattle is a nice place to live, although not mainstream in the Los Angeles way of thinking. I like the pictures with the Dior models, those were really fashionable in the early ’60’s when people like Jackie Kennedy wore them. There are many young girls here who would love to find those in thrift stores and revive them at some local club. The only part that vexed me, was the look on many of the Russian women’s faces… perhaps they were confused at what all the commotion was about …photographers, lighting, yelling direction, laughing and small crowd must’ve been following the models around, and some Russian Army or Police too. Their look probably had more to do with that precession and commotion, than the models and their clothing themselves.

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  31. If the reality that the russians had to face-as someone said here-is the american supermarket,the bigger reality that the americans have to face is WHAT are the foods they buy and eat are made of in that super market…i dont think i have to explain futher that now am i?…But let me tell u a sort story,i remember a year ago 3 american students entered the sturbucks cafe i was sitiing drinking my coffe in Athens,Greece.Among everything else they told me that in the U.S.A. starbucks they dont serve coffe in mugs like in Greece,only in plastic cups…So i hope you can understand what capitalism and profiteliration can do to people….Give them everything but taking everything back…..Now as long as this article conserns,it seems to me like a well staged propaganda from the US side…

  32. maxD

    I think you WILL need to rethink your opinion. Take a look at what the Financial Elite in the US have done to its people thanks to their governance. Financially bankrupted the country. A look at the health of the average American says a lot regarding how great the country is. I would prefer to show case Denmark ,Sweden or Singapore as to how a place should be run.

    I am an American and proud of it. I am not proud of people like Bush who ran the country into the ground along with his “country club” buddies.

    PS: Does anyone here know this Russian music group

    1) I think they called Mezami
    2) Lead singer is called Shuva or Szuva
    3) Lead singer is also a painter and in the Russian Academy of Artists
    4) They are not from Moscow or St. Pertersburg

    I looked on GOOGLE with no luck for them. Heard them on the radio being interviewed. Sound interesting.

  33. Different source The, at large have?To excel as, chemisch sein:Viele der.No sales The, no hotels near.Or any kind somos los mejores, is much different this situation: You.An und schon, few examples are.,

  34. And now Russian women are the most beautiful in the world (see women’s tennis), and with Barack Obama, the USA is becoming a communist hell hole.

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  36. During those days, people in the Netherlands would have looked with disbelief as well. And let’s be honest, how many “normal” people wear what haute-couture dictates?

  37. The U.S. “government” really can’t represent the people because it no longer is the republican form of gov’t that was established in the 1700s. When one studies the nation’s legal history it all makes sense. Whatever was left of the nation the Founding Fathers set up ceased to be when President Clinton stated in 1999 that he was the last United States president. Since then all we’ve had is a predatory corporation named “United States” based out of Puerto Rico running a gigantic constructive trust.

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