Please forward simple shapes PDF error screen to 194. Typical Dior evening gown, date unknown but circa 1950. Dior’s house in Granville, now a museum. Marlene Dietrich in Alfred Hitchcock’s Stage Fright, 1950.
During the German occupation of France in World War II, Christian Dior dressed the wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. For his first collection, in early 1947, the phrase The New Look was coined by Harper’s Bazaar, the fashion monthly. This made his dresses flare out from the waist, giving his models a very curvaceous form. Some women protested, because his designs covered up their legs, which they did not during wartime. There was also criticism of Dior’s designs, which used a lot of fabric. Opposition ceased as soon as wartime shortages ended.
The New Look revolutionized women’s dress and reestablished Paris as the center of the fashion world. The term was first used by Dior as the label for his collection of spring 1955. The A-Line collection’s feature item, then the « most wanted silhouette in Paris », was a « fingertip-length flared jacket worn over a dress with a very full, pleated skirt ». Although an A-shape, this silhouette was not identical to what is now understood to embody the A-line idea. That idea was given its definitive expression and popularized by Dior’s successor, Yves Saint Laurent, with his « Trapeze Line » of spring 1958, which featured dresses flaring out dramatically from a fitted shoulder line.