In 1947 Christian Dior presented a fashion look with a fitted jacket with a nipped in waist and full calf length skirt. It was a dramatic change from wartime austerity styles. After the rationing of fabric during the Second World War,... [more]
In 1947 Christian Dior presented a fashion look with a fitted jacket with a nipped in waist and full calf length skirt. It was a dramatic change from wartime austerity styles. After the rationing of fabric during the Second World War, Dior's lavish use of material was a bold and shocking stroke. Women longed for frivolity in dress and desired feminine clothes that did not look like a civilian version of a military uniform. His style used yards and yards of fabric. Approximately 10 yards was used for early styles. Later Dior used up to 80 yards for newer refinements that eliminated bulk at the waist.
Dubbed "the New Look" in 1947 by Life Magazine, Dior's Corolle line were very glamorous and consisted of strapless boned tops with full skirts and were ultra feminine.
The shaped fitted jacket Dior designed with his New Look full skirt was also teamed with a straight mid calf length skirt. Women usually wore just underwear beneath the buttoned up jacket, or filled in the neckline with a satin foulard head scarf, dickey or bib.
Dior's New Look dominated the fashion world for about ten years, but was not the only silhouette of the era. 1956 was the year that introduced visible changes that separate the early fifties from the late fifties. It places that fashion era firmly alongside the stuffy formality of the forties, whilst putting the post 1956 period firmly into the start of the livelier, anything goes sixties fashion period, often dominated by the young of the day.
There were those in the 1950s that rebelled against the pristine immaculate groomed look, so often associated with Grace Kelly elegance. Leslie Caron and Audrey Hepburn both often wore simple black sweaters, flat shoes and gold hoop earrings coupled with gamine cropped short haircuts. They gave a continental alternative often described as chic and had many fashion followers seeking to embrace the modern. [show less]