The New Look

The New Look


Dior and models.

What were watching at HIRA: The New Look, streaming on AppleTV.

The story shines a light on the experiences of fashion designers Christian Dior and Coco Chanel (in addition to many other fashion household names) as they navigate the nazi occupation of WW2 in Europe during the 1940s. The war ended in 1945 and in 1947, Dior launched his first collection which would be dubbed "The New Look". It featured "ultra-feminine",opulent silhouettes that were both embraced by the mainstream as a dramatic departure from the austere styles during wartime (due to fabric rationing and women stepping into the workforce) and rejected by some women who felt the styles were restrictive, impractical, and a step back in women's liberation. Regardless of opposing views, Dior's "New Look" would prove to be incredibly influential on the standard fashion for women in the 1950s.

Food for thought: Looking back, do you think Dior's "New Look" was revolutionary or regressive? And can we separate the art from the artist, particularly in times of crisis? What does it mean to be "feminine"?

The "Bar" suit, introduced by Dior in 1947 spring collection, features a cinched waist, full skirt, and padded hips. 

Dio "Bar" Suit, 1947.

Dior's designs became increasingly "feminine" during the 1950s as seen in the example below titled " Eventail", 1956-57.

Dior's dress "Eventail, 1956-57

Chrisitan Dior dress photo by Irving Penn

Swarovski x Christian Dior

The histories of Swarovski and Christian Dior have been intertwined since the launch of the designer’s revolutionary New Look in 1947. In 1956, Manfred Swarovski, grandson of the founder, began to work personally with Christian Dior, to produce a special Aurora Borealis crystal stone to embody Dior’s now well-recognized vision. Dior used them in many designs, and many other designers followed suit.

Dior jewelry ad

Christian Dior vintage jewelry advertisement

christian dior vintage advertisement


Fun fact: La Vie En Rose was released as a single in 1947, the same year Dior launched the "New Look".


Thanks for reading!




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