Dior started off Paris Haute Couture week today showing off retro silhouettes and bold makeup for a strong spring 2011 showing. Voluminous shapes with cinched waists, airy hats . John Galliano gave a runway show of utmost retro opulence and glamour.
New Look: 64 years ago, those same two words signified one of the most important changes the fashion world has seen. In 1947, the couturier Christian Dior introduced his New Look that transformed women's appearances after years of military and civilian uniforms. New look radical style featuring rounded shoulders, cinched waists and ultra-feminine skirts was a dramatic change from wartime austerity styles. Dior’s lavish use of material was a bold and shocking stroke. His style used yards and yards of fabric.
The New Look collection violated all the rules of wartime fashion: his outfits had rounded shoulders; full, billowing ultra-feminine skirts; and a narrow waist. The dresses were lined with expensive and luxurious fabrics such as cambric or taffeta and were beautifully detailed. Outfits were accessorized with a hat, often worn to one side, long gloves, and simple jewelry. As Valerie Steele wrote in Fifty Years of Fashion: New Look to Now: “The longing for elegance and luxury had been suppressed for the years of the war, and the New Look promised to gratify it.” As Dior described it when the clothing line was introduced, the New Look was “symbolic of youth and the future.” The New Look killed off the utility clothing of the war years and ushered in a new era in fashion. By 1948 the New Look was the dominant fashion in Paris, Rome, London and New York., and it continued to be popular for several years.
And now after 64 years is back, glamourous and charming than ever.
|Drawings of Rene Gruau|
|Christian Dior (sitting in white coat) commenting on red gown for his new collection prior to showing (Photo by Loomis Dean/Time Life Pictures)|