Christian Dior, A Fashionable Revolutionist.
“It’s not money that makes you well dressed, it’s understanding.”
After the Second World War, Lives across Europe seemed bleak. Dreams were shattered, families torn apart and countries were in ruin. For a lot of people, although the war was finally over, the future seemed dull, the shine was scored off all the plans and excitement. It was time to rebuild.
For many people this was an opportunity to start fresh. A new beginning especially within fashion. We were so used to Army uniforms and women’s utilitarian attire that we forgot what glamour and extravagance looked like.
This was when Christian Dior stepped up. His vision created a whole new beginning, a glimmer of hope for women, which made him one of the most prestigious fashion designers to date. He created a major shift in post war fashion, in December 1946, by opening his own fashion house with the backing of Marcel Boussac.
His First Line was called ‘Corolle’, which in English terms means circlet of flower petals.
“I have designed Flower Women”
Christian Dior .
He replaced boxy uniforms with bellowing skirts and silk fabrics, he created beauty when we all thought there was none left. He brought back femininity to create a whole new look.
The name ‘The New Look’ was coined by Carmel Snow, Editor-in-Chief of Harpers Bazaar, as she believed it was a whole ‘new look’ for women to enjoy.
The fashion revolution unfolded a whole new and exciting image. It was a drastic change from Elsa Shiaparelli’s 1930’s sleek silhouette; it began with an hour glass figure, softer shoulders and a fuller skirt. The idea was excess, the war was over, rationing was over, we could now finally begin to rebuild our bombed out wardrobes.
He wanted to express indulgence. The Make do and mend culture was finally coming to an end, no more wedding dresses out of net curtains, no more patched up trousers. It was all about luxury and and extravagance, celebrating the female figure, rather than venturing forward with a utilitarian silhouette.
‘The New Look’ was perfect for the post war era and helped to push the Dior brand. Throughout the 1950’s Christian Dior set the bar, it was known as the biggest and best run haute couture house in Paris. He created a part of history which still influences us today. His Legacy still lives on.