Exactly 63 years ago today, Christian Dior's New Look was introduced on February 12, 1947. The two lines of designs Dior had presented were code-named "Corolla" and "Eight" (including the new "Bar suit" silhouette) but the "New Look" catch-phrase which immortalised this particular silhouette came after Harper's Bazaar 's editor-in-chief Carmel Snow exclaimed after seeing the collection: "It's such a New Look!"
The New Look relied on a signature shape of below-mid-calf length, full-skirt, large bust (unheard of at least since 1912), and small waist. With it came a reprised feminity that had been romanticized anew after the vagaries of the war which had made women more dynamic-looking. And of course the perfumes followed, with the secretly naughty Miss Dior, the fruity chypre Diorama and the radiant Diorissimo in the designer's name, all through others which came in the 1950s and early 1960s by Balmain, Balenciaga, Lentheric, Carven et al, defining an era of petticoat crinolines underneath stiff taffeta whish-whashing their way down the Technicolour avenues of the everyday life. Metaphorically, as well as literally, the style demanded a certain demeanour from its wearer who had to exude some restraint and heaps of natural elegance.
So on to you: Which perfumes do you consider New-Look-compliant and which do you love out of this group?
Photo of Renee sporting the New Look by Dior at Place de la Concorde, Paris 1947, by Richard Avedon. Photo of New Look design via buctopia blog.