I am stunned by the number of anniversaries related to the world of design and architecture celebrated in 2017. Last week I wrote about Frank Lloyd Wright and today, about Christian Dior. While he established his La Maison Dior in 1946, his breakthrough, his fame did not come until February 12, 1947, with his first postwar and historic collections called “Corolle” and “Huit,” remembered as “The New Look,” after the commentary of the editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar Carmel Snow. Why was it that revolutionary? Because after years of masculine utility style that women were forced to wear during WWII, it was seen as a fashion statement that the War was over. It not only brought back glamour and femininity, but was also perceived as the most substantial expression of the revival of the fashion industry in France. Christian Dior formulated a new silhouette and changed the history of fashion. It was informed by a small waist and a full skirt falling below mid-calf length, full, to signify the end of the fabric restrictions during the War. And while his colleague Coco Chanel famously remarked that “only a man who never was intimate with a woman could design something that uncomfortable,” Dior made history and brought Paris back to the forefront of the fashion world. For the 60th anniversary of the New Look in 2007, John Galliano revisited with a Spring-Summer collection for Dior; 2017 celebrates its 70th.
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