The first fashion designer to create jewellery as an integral part of his collections was Christian Dior.
His jewellery complemented the outfits and was created with each look in mind. Famous French jeweller Maison Gripoix designed the first line of Dior jewellery, and in 1948, the collections were created by other companies under licence.
Because Dior loved flowers, especially lilies of the valley, floral motifs frequently appeared in his jewellery creations. Plated metal, poured glass, and Austrian crystals were regularly used to create the flowers.
Christian Dior insisted that the jewellery created under the Dior name matched the quality of the clothing that the house produced, and he therefore set out to find the paruriers and jewellery makers at the top of their industries.
In 1955, the German company Henkel & Grosse was awarded a contract to provide Christian Dior with jewellery, and it has kept that agreement ever since.
Even today, Henkel & Grosse continues to produce jewellery for the house of Dior in addition to their own collections. The collaboration between Dior and a German firm so soon after the war caused controversy throughout France, but the superiority of the pieces gradually put the critics to rest.
Henkel & Grosse has an exclusive licence to manufacture jewellery under the "Bijoux Christian Dior" name, and they were in charge of the "Boutique Dior" line more recently
Their specialty is gold-plated jewellery, which they produced in large quantities for Dior. However, they also mastered crystal set jewellery, and their 1950s and 1960s pieces are crystal-heavy.
Sometimes the other paruriers would create a prototype item, which would then be sent to Henkel & Grosse for production.
Henkel & Grosse signed every piece of jewellery they made for Dior, but the stamps have changed over time. The majority of the oval plaques attached to 1950s and 1960s items are inscribed with "Christian Dior," the year, and the copyright sign.
They started using "Chr. Dior" with the year in the late 1960s and the early 1970s. The plaques frequently include the words "Made in Germany" or "Germany."
For a short time in the 1970s, they used a rectangular plaque with hatched borders.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, they started signing the hanging metal tag on necklaces with "Chr. Dior Germany".