Hello Darlings! Ahhh, Christian Dior. What is it about his designs that makes them so wonderful? Let’s look into this…
First things first, let’s make sure we understand the importance of Dior’s New Look. It was not only his design, but his timing. Please understand that after the horror and privations of World War II, women (and everyone else) were tired of suffering, tired of ugly, and needed a boost. Enter Dior with a silhouette so shocking and new that it immediately made people stand up and pay attention; behold the 1947 New Look.
With the very narrow waist gracefully expanding into the full circle skirt, the look was quite a departure from the straighter lines of the 1940’s. Dior virtually singlehandedly brought in the iconic 1950’s wasp -to full skirt look we all know and love.
Consider this striking cocktail dress. Not only do we have the narrow-waist-full skirt but also regard the cheeky gypsy-like flounces in the skirt and the gathered top. A sort-of peasant meets aristocrat look.
Here is another divine example of a very narrow waist expanding into a voluminous skirt look. Dior, like so many designers, was also influenced by historical clothing note how the silhouette of this ensemble resembles a traditional ladies’ riding habit.
Dior was also a master of mixing textures in his clothing.
Notice the wispy, almost slightly frayed look of the chiffon at the top of the bodice in the dress, above, and how it contrasts with the sleek lines of the rest of the dress. A subtle but brilliant contrast that adds interest to the overall design. The fur hat that was used for this fashion shoot also further emphasizes contrasting textures with the irregular texture of the fur playing off the smooth fabric of the dress.
Here is another stunning example of not only contrasting textures (the smooth skirt vs. the ruffeled capelet), but the elegant drama that was also a Dior trademark. Note the elaborate pleating on the capelet, bringing to mind the ruffed lace collars of Elizabethan England.
Well, that’s it for today’s examination of the late, great Christian Dior. I hope you take a bit of inspiration from it. Now, go forth and be chic!