Dior “New Look”

November 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Dior new look was created in 1947. Christian Dior presented a fashion look with a fitted jacket with a nipped in waist and full calf length skirt. It was such a huge change from wartime styles. After the rationing of fabric during the Second World War, Dior’s plentiful use of material was a bold and shocking stroke. His style used yards and yards of fabric. Approximately 10 yards was used for early styles. Later Dior used up to 80 yards for newer refinements that eliminated bulk at the waist.

The New Look and new approach to fashion was a major post war turning point in Fashion History.

On February 12, 1947, Christian Dior presented his collection to the public, and fashion people immediately predicted it would put Paris back on the map as the capital of fashion. The success of the New Look led to the opening of Christian Dior New York, making Christian Dior the first European designer with a ready-to-wear salon in the United States. By 1957, Dior products were available in 15 countries and Dior himself was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine.

1955 – The A,H,Y-line Style from Dior

In 1954 and 1955, he designed three closely related collections, based on the shapes of the letters H, A, and Y, which marked a move away from the strongly emphasized, nipped-in waist that had been the dominant silhouette since his 1947 “Corolle Line” which was inspried by a flower shape collection. The most influential of these was Dior’s garments gave a more feminine appeal for women in terms of fashion. The voluminous look also added to the femininity of a woman. The Princess Line launched in the year 1953 soon became popular and Dior also popularized the trend of wearing A-line skirts.

The H-line of 1954 was a slender tunic suit with a slim skirt that later became more of a dropped waist tubular twenties style dress with a hemline that was creeping upwards. This would become a classic 1950s fashion garment. The H-Line was better suited for evening wear.

The “A-Line” in 1955 collection, characterized by narrow shoulders and a smooth, trumpetlike flare toward the hem; the elongated waistline, either high under the bust or dropped toward the hips, formed the crossbar of the A. The signature look of this collection was a fingertip-length flared jacket worn over a dress with a very full, pleated skirt; while it was clearly an A-shape, this silhouette was quite different from what was later meant by “A-line.”

The “Y” collection in 1955  emphasised on the shoulder instead of a pleated skirt in A line and changed the silhouette into slim skirts for more modern and smart looks.

Dior’s New Look of 1947 and the Bar design

Dior’s timing made his name in fashion history. After the war women longed for playfulness in dress and desired feminine clothes that did not look like a civilian version of a military uniform. Life magazine called Dior’s Corolle line the New Look in 1947. Evening versions of the New Look were very glamorous and consisted of strapless boned tops with full skirts and were extremely feminine. The shaped fitted jacket Dior designed with his New Look full skirt was also teamed with a straight mid calf length skirt. Women usually wore just underwear beneath the buttoned up jacket, or filled in the neckline with a satin foulard head scarf, dickey or bib.

Each of his collections throughout this period had a theme. Spring 1947 was “Carolle” or “figure 8,” a name that suggested the silhouette of the new look with its prominent shoulders, accentuated hips, and small waist. The spring 1953 collection was just like “Tulip,” featured an abundance of floaty, flowery prints. Spring 1955’s “A-line,” with its undefined waist and smooth silhouette that widened over the hips and legs, resembled a capital “A.”

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