The New Look Gets Another Look

Next week the Christian Dior Museum in Granville, the only French museum dedicated to a couturier, will present an exhibition examining his optimistic, elegant, shapely vision of post-war women, which mirrored the reconstruction of the country at large. Before February 12, 1947, the day Dior’s so-called New Look couture collection was shown, Dior was unknown. Thereafter he was one the world’s most famous men and exalted artists.

That show catapulted the New Look — in particular the curvy Bar jacket — into a phenomenon. But not everyone was enamored. Dior’s designs were denounced in Britain, where fabric rationing remained in effect. Meanwhile, those who had heeded generations of calls to abandon the corset were rather opposed to the reintroduction of tiny wasp waists and other forms of restrictive femininity. But by the spring of 1948, the New Look had charmed its way into wardrobes everywhere and Paris had reclaimed its status as the center of fashion and style.

The exhibition will focus on 80 couture garments, ranging from that first 1947 collection through Raf Simons’ tenure at the house today, as well as roughly a hundred photographs, documents, manuscripts, and original sketches.

Dior: the Revolution of the New Look, June 6 – November 1, 2015, Christian Dior Museum, Granville

Christian Dior in his Paris salon (1948)

Christian Dior at a fitting, photo by Howard Sochurek (ca 1950)

Model in Christian Dior (1950s)

Christian Dior outfit, photo by RIchard Avedon (ca 1947)

Christian Dior ‘Bar’ outfit (1947)

Christian Dior coat (1950)

Christian Dior dinner dress and coat (1953)

Christian Dior ‘Junon’ dress, photo by Richard Avedon (1949)

Christian Dior ‘Scissor’ dresses, Vogue (1949)

Suzy Parker in Christian Dior, photo by Clifford Coffin (ca 1950)

Christian Dior Museum (interior)

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