Dior and the New Look.
A breath of fresh air for those who had been forced by the circumstances of war to wear clothes those styling dated back to the 1930s.
The House of Dior was established in December 1946, with the first collection launched on 12th February 1947, although “The New Look” was the description applied by a fashion journalist rather than Christian Dior. The first report in Australian print may have been this article in April that year:
The Sydney Morning Herald, 15th April 1947 page 13.The contrast with the military styling of wartime uniforms and utility suits, with their square shoulders, straight, masculine lines and lack of frivolousness, was astounding. Here was exaggerated femininity, draping, flowing, with soft shoulders, tight waistlines as well as prominent hips and bust-line. It was too much for many, including the above journalist: “Many of his styles were unpractical for any but the slimmest figures …
David Jones showed “notable examples of Dior’s Styling” at its Spring Fashion Show that year.
Buttons were not a prominent feature of this look, although buttons covered in matching fabric did march smartly down the front of jackets and skirts, such as on the “Bar Suit”.
Some people railed against the distasteful waste of fabric in a world still hurting from the wounds of war, however, its time had come. This was no more clearly seen than when Princesses Margaret wore a Dior gown for her 21st birthday portrait in 1951.
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