Charity Confirms Unique ‘Date With Dior’: Author Set To Give Special Suffolk Preview

Image by Oliver Holms

British author and editor Justine Picardie is set to deliver a special daytime lecture in Suffolk, ahead of the release of her new book, Miss Dior: A Story of Courage and Couture.

Justine is the author of six books, including her critically acclaimed memoir, If the Spirit Moves You: Life and Love After Death, and the international bestseller, Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life. She is a contributing editor to Harper’s Bazaar, having previously been its editor in chief. 

She was formerly a journalist for the Sunday Times, a columnist for the Telegraph, editor of the Observer MagazineTown & Country, and features director of Vogue.

Ms Picardie will be coming to Helmingham for a unique event on Thursday 2 September, in aid of the East of England charity, Ormiston Families.

Her new book tells the story of the enigmatic woman behind Christian Dior: his beloved younger sister Catherine, who inspired his most famous perfume and shaped his vision of femininity. A heroic member of the French Resistance, who was deported to Germany during the Second World War, Catherine Dior was also passionate about gardens – and roses in particular, which she cultivated as a key ingredient for Dior perfumes. 

Justine will deliver her talk at Framsden Hall, where she will also sign copies of the book. Published by Faber & Faber, it is to be sold on the day in aid of the charity. 

Following the talk, guests will enjoy a lunch at the venue, before having the opportunity to move on and tour the gardens of Helmingham Hall if they wish.

Ms Picardie says: “I’m delighted to be able to support the vital work of Ormiston Families, and I’m looking forward to talking about Christian and Catherine Dior in such an enchanting setting. They had a mutual love of creating gardens, and discovered solace in the natural world, so it feels timely to be sharing their story with an audience who appreciates the beauty of Helmingham.”

The event takes place as part of Ormiston Families’ 40th anniversary campaign year, in which it is seeking to raise more awareness of the work of the charity, and applaud the great success that has been achieved over the last four decades in which the organisation has been bringing hope and support to East of England Families.

Lady Tollemache, President of Ormiston Families, said: “Securing Justine for our special ‘in conversation with’ event is so exciting for us and we are incredibly grateful that she has decided to share insights into the book with our audience even before its official launch.

“Ms Picardie is exceptionally well respected for her work as an author, as an editor in chief, and also as someone who has such incredible knowledge about fashion and society throughout the generations.”

Tickets must be booked in advance, and can be secured at a cost from £55 by going to

Gavin Lamb, Philanthropy Manager for Ormiston Families, added: “We expect this event to be a sell-out, so I would encourage anyone with a love of literature, social history and fashion to book as soon as possible and make sure you have this in your diary.”

You can see more about Ormiston Families’ 40th anniversary celebrations and other events which will feature throughout the coming year, by going to

Ewan Graham Art

“Unconstrained Retrospective – Defying Categorisation” I’m delighted to announce an exciting inaugural major solo exhibition in Suffolk, featuring original oil paintings and limited-edition Giclee Prints.


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