Christian Dior Day Ensemble

French designer reinvents fashion with his “New Look”

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Considered a transformative moment in fashion history, Christian Dior’s (1905–1957) first collection in 1947 was a turning point from an androgynous silhouette necessitated by wartime austerity to post-war extravagance.

When the war and its textile restrictions ended, fashion editors celebrated silhouettes that used yards and yards of fabric to create full skirts. This fullness was balanced by a nipped-in waist and rounded shoulders, creating a soft, feminine style dubbed Dior’s “New Look.” Wealthier fashionistas commissioned custom New Look garments, but shoppers with modest pocketbooks found mass-produced versions with petticoats to create the desired silhouette.

1947 was a significant year for Christian Dior. He presented his first fashion collection, and a short nine months later made his very first trip to the United States to receive the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion. While his visit to Dallas was recorded by the international fashion media, Dior enjoyed the trip so much that he dedicated an entire chapter to it in his 1957 autobiography.

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Christian Dior Day Ensemble Artifact from Denton
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