Lifestyle • 26 February, 2020

Alla Ilchun: Kazakh muse of Christian Dior

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Alla Ilchun was the first Euro-Asian model who has worked for twenty years at Dior. She was famous for her waist of 49 cm and eyeliner arrows.

Ilchun was a Kazakh origin, who moved to the capital of France with her parents in 1917. Her father, Kuantkhan Ilchun was from Almaty while her mother, Tatiana was Russian.

The Association of Kazakhs in France is working on a documentary film about Ilchun.

A book presentation on Ilchun’s life and successful modeling career was held in Paris. The initial copies of her biography were sold out within several days in Kazakhstan.

The book included not only the life of Alla Ilchun, but also facts and archival documents that were not previously unknown. The author Berlin Irishev said that it is worth to film a documentary or feature about intersting life of the Kazakh model.

Ilchun used to work as a dishwasher in Paris before meeting Dior by accident after replacing her friend for the Dior Fashion House fitting. The famous couturier instantly liked her and she became not only a top supermodel but also his muse. It is believed that she was responsible for creating the ‘cat eye’ makeup.

Paintings of Ilchun were showcased at the ‘Portrait of Muse of Dior’s exhibition in Kasteyev Art Museum in Almaty, Kazakhstan.



Alla is wearing a narrow blue wool cape by Christian Dior, photo by Georges Saad, 1954

Alla is wearing Christian Dior's petaled, sequined evening gown called "Junon" named for the queen of the gods in Roman mythology, photo by Willy Maywald, Paris, 1949

Alla in Dior's day-dress and matching hat, photo by Loomis Dean, Paris, 1957

Alla presents Dior's velvet and mink ensemble called "Vermeer", Autumn/Winter Collection H-Line, photo by Mark Shaw, Maison Dior, 1954

As LIFE magazine's star fashion photographer Mark Shaw shot incredible moments inside the legendary house of Dior throughout the 1950s and '60s. Captured here inside the Dior flagship in 1954 is star model Alla, decked out in Dior’s evening finery called Artamène. She is being sketched by Carl Erickson for American Vogue, best known as Eric.

Alla for Schiaparelli, 1949

Alla, Christian Dior, 1952

Alla in Dior's dress called "Croque-mitaine" Autumn/Winter Collection Vivante line, photo by Mark Shaw in the salon of Maison Dior, 1953

Alla in dress by Christian Dior near the Piazza San Marco in Venice, the island of San Giorgio Maggiore is visible in the background, 1951

Alla in silver pailetted cocktail dress with matching coat lined in mink by Christian Dior, photo by Willy Maywald, Paris, 1953

Christian Dior Evening Gown, Photo Moussempès, 1949

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