Fashion History: the New Look (1950s)

Topics: 1950s, Corset, Waist Pages: 4 (1303 words) Published: December 11, 2012
The New Look

In February 1947, Christian Dior introduced the first major postwar collection, called the "Corolle Line", which was later renamed the "New Look" by American journalists in Life Magazine (Fashions of the 1950's: The "New Look). Dior was over the harsh utility style clothes and their masculine characteristic. With the "New Look", most recognizable by its curvy shape and line, Dior started the fashion revolution away from the wartime mode (Fashions of the 1950's: The "New Look). In a single collection he created one of the most distinct looks of the century. The “New Look” was a womanly hourglass figure, with a tiny waist, full hips, and a plentiful bust. Shoulders went from square to naturally rounded, jackets were pinched in at the waist, and dresses had darts to give the flare and fullness of the skirt (Fashions of the 1950's: The "New Look). Alternatives on skirt line and length emerged as the decade progressed and included variations of styles. Women were accessorized with hats, gloves, shoes, and purses; all the frills to match.

"I wanted my dresses t be constructed, molded upon the curves of the feminine body, whose sweep they would stylize," Christian Dior proclaimed in his autobiography (Christian Dior / - Design/Designer Information). It was Dior's belief that women were fed-up with the uniforms and unadorned clothing of WWII.

Sloping Shoulders
First, the New Look transformed the square shoulders of the war era into more feminine, soft, sloping shoulders, inspired by pre-Civil War fashions. In nearly all Dior designs, this look was achieved by the use of shoulder pads.

Tiny Waists
Next, the essential ingredient needed for New Look fashions is a corset. The fashion magazines of the period preferred to call them the more exotic term "guepieres” (Tortora). Dior's own corset was named "the waspie” (Thomas). This new version of the Victorian corset was five or six inches deep, made of rigid fabric with elastic inserts, and...
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