Fashion History- The New Look by Dior | by Kalyani Kala | Medium


In the post-World War II era, fashion underwent a remarkable transformation, reflecting the collective desire for renewal and optimism. Among the designers who played a pivotal role in this sartorial revolution was Christian Dior. With his groundbreaking “New Look” collection, Dior redefined the silhouette of fashion and left an indelible mark on the industry. In this article, we delve into the story behind Dior’s New Look and its lasting impact on fashion.

Post-War Fashion: A Yearning for Change

After years of rationing and austerity during the war, society was hungry for change and a return to glamour and luxury. Dior recognized this longing and set out to revolutionize women’s fashion, offering a departure from the utilitarian clothing of the wartime era.

The Birth of the New Look: A Celebration of Femininity

In 1947, Christian Dior unveiled his first collection as the artistic director of the House of Dior. It was aptly named the “New Look” and introduced a radical departure from the boxy, masculine silhouettes of the preceding years. Dior’s designs celebrated the feminine form, accentuating the waist and emphasizing full skirts that fell below the knee.

The Bar Suit: Iconic Symbol of the New Look

The centerpiece of the New Look was the iconic Bar Suit, a tailored jacket with a nipped-in waist and a full, calf-length skirt. This ensemble exuded elegance and sophistication, instantly capturing the imagination of women worldwide. The Bar Suit became a symbol of post-war liberation and a return to opulence.

Controversy and Criticism

While the New Look was celebrated for its elegance and femininity, it also faced criticism. Some argued that Dior’s designs were regressive, as they emphasized traditional gender roles and presented an unrealistic ideal of beauty. Nevertheless, Dior remained steadfast in his vision, defending his designs as a celebration of the female figure and a rejection of the frugality of the war years.

The Impact of the New Look: A Fashion Revolution

Dior’s New Look had a seismic impact on the fashion industry, setting a new standard for femininity and luxury. The collection rejuvenated Paris as the fashion capital of the world and signaled a shift towards a more glamorous and extravagant aesthetic. It influenced not only haute couture but also ready-to-wear fashion, inspiring designers and retailers alike.

The New Look’s Enduring Legacy

Decades after its debut, the New Look continues to resonate in the world of fashion. Its influence can be seen in contemporary designs that celebrate the female form and embrace timeless elegance. Designers such as Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri, who have helmed the House of Dior in recent years, pay homage to the New Look while infusing it with their own modern interpretations.

Technological Advancements in Capturing the New Look

The New Look collection was immortalized through various mediums, including photography and film. Technological advancements have further enhanced our ability to capture and preserve the essence of Dior’s groundbreaking designs. High-resolution digital photography and advancements in video production allow us to experience the New Look in exquisite detail, capturing the intricate craftsmanship and luxurious fabrics.

Celebrity Endorsement: The New Look on the Red Carpet

The New Look continues to be celebrated on red carpets around the world, with celebrities embracing its timeless elegance. Stars such as Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, and Marion Cotillard have donned Dior gowns inspired by the New Look, evoking the same sense of glamour and sophistication that captivated audiences in 1947.

As Christian Dior famously said, “After women, flowers are the most divine creations.” The New Look collection embodied this sentiment, intertwining the beauty of nature with the grace of the female form. It remains a testament to the enduring power of fashion to inspire and transform.


Dior’s New Look collection forever changed the fashion landscape, ushering in an era of femininity, luxury, and opulence. It not only revitalized post-war fashion but also left a lasting impact on the industry as a whole. The New Look’s influence can still be felt in contemporary designs, red carpet moments, and the ongoing evolution of fashion.

As we reflect on the legacy of the New Look, we are reminded of the transformative power of fashion to capture the spirit of an era and shape the cultural landscape. Christian Dior’s visionary designs continue to inspire designers, fashion enthusiasts, and women around the world, reaffirming the belief that style has the ability to transcend time and leave an indelible mark on history.

Related Posts