9th January 2023

Dior and the New Look.

A breath of fresh air for those who had been forced by the circumstances of war to wear clothes whose 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.

South Western Times (Bunbury, WA), 31st July 1947 page 6.

This picture from Pix magazine, 22nd August 1953 page 21, shows the contrasting style of the New Look to what it replaced.

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”.

Wikimedia image by spirited Michelle, 4th February 2019.

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.

The Daily Telegraph (Brisbane), 29th November 1951 page 5.

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