Model reading in “Junon” dress, fall/winter 1949–50, by Christian Dior. Pale-blue silk net embroidered with iridescent blue, green, and rust sequins.

By 1949, Christian Dior’s instinct for calibrated innovations of the body’s “line” had established him as fashion’s preeminent arbiter. That year, the Junon dress was one of the most coveted of his designs. The Junon is a magnificent skirt of ombréed petals, like abstractions of peacock feathers without their “eyes,” obliquely references the bird associated with the Queen of the Olympians.