Dior’s New Look

The main reason I became interested in fashion and its history is because there is so much more to it than most people understand.
There are reasons behind every design and each reflects the society at the time. It has affects on the public in ways many would not expect.
Today I’ve decided to take a look at my favourite collection, The New Look and the controversies it stirred during the 1940s.
The collection took the world by storm as Christian Dior revolutionized women’s fashion.

When Dior began a fashion house with Marcel Boussac in December 1946, they created voluptious designs, bringing back the S shape silhouette with longer skirts and cinched-in waists.

Dior created the "new look" in 1947, which meant longer skirts and cinched-in waists. Photo courtesy of the Dreamstress http://thedreamstress.com

Dior created the “new look” in 1947, which meant longer skirts and cinched-in waists.
Photo courtesy of the Dreamstress http://thedreamstress.com

Originally the look was known as “Corolle” meaning circlet of flower petals in French.
It was coined the “New Look” by editor-in-chief of Harper Bazaar.
“I have designed flower women,” said Dior on his collection.
Although the designs were highly controversial at the time, it put Paris back on the map as a fashion capital. New York and London had recently rivalled for the top spot, making their own claim for fame in the fashion world during the war.

Dior's New Look meant fuller skirts, particularly for evening wear. Photo courtesy of Diorable Style.

Dior’s New Look meant fuller skirts, particularly for evening wear. Photo courtesy of Diorable Style.

Dior’s designs replaced padded shoulders, boxy lines, and short skirt of the war time with softer, fuller and more feminine silhouettes.
Because clothing during the war were not allowed to exceed a particular length due to a conservation of material, women were use to wearing short straight-cut outfits while taking over men’s work as they went off to war. Clothes had to be practical.

Fashion during the second World War meant straight cut, almost uniform-style dresses. Courtesy of Sydney Barnett Pinterest. http://www.pinterest.com/sydmb/ch16-the-20s-30s-and-world-war-ii/

Fashion during the second World War meant straight cut, almost uniform-style dresses. Courtesy of Sydney Barnett Pinterest. http://www.pinterest.com/sydmb/ch16-the-20s-30s-and-world-war-ii/

When Dior’s designs came to the spotlight, it created a backlash among people across the globe.
A woman named Louise Horn from Georgia, found her new skirt caught in an automatic bus door and was dragged for a block before the bus stopped. She then enlisted more than 1,200 women to sign an anti-Dior petition which led to the protest group Little Below the Knees Club.
In an interview with Newsweek, one protester said, “Long skirts are dangerous. With today’s speed, you can’t even catch a street car in a long skirt. And how can you drive an auto?”

Protest groups multiplied due to Dior's new fashion who felt the look was impractical.  Photo courtesy of CassieStephens.blogspot.ca

Protest groups multiplied due to Dior’s new fashion who felt the look was impractical.
Photo courtesy of CassieStephens.blogspot.ca

Men also led a group of their own called, The League of Broke Husbands, who protested the exorbitant bills their wives would leave them following the new fashion, due to the decadent amount of material needed.

Celebrities protested as well including designer Coco Chanel and model, Bobbie Woodward who said, “whoever dreamed up this fall’s gruesome styles have been reading too many historical novels.”

However, the fashion was eventually accepted by the general public and similar looks were inspired by Dior’s designs in the 1950’s.

Vintage-inspired trends this summer

In just a couple of weeks, it will be officially summer. However with this weather we have been having in Vancouver lately, it feels as if it’s already been here for awhile. We have already broken out all our favourite summer dresses and shorts along with our wallets to get some of the latest summer trends.

After browsing too many stores longingly, a few vintage-inspired looks have caught my eye. Here are a few that I noticed:

Wide-legged trousers

Although these are more of a spring look, I happen to have seen them everywhere on runways and in magazines. These pants first hit popularity with help from Charlie’s Angels, but have now managed to sneak their way back into our wardrobes. I love the look, however for someone of my height (5″2), I wouldn’t recommend them for myself or others of the same stature.

These trousers can be found at Devil May Wear on Main st for $145. Photo courtesy of Devil May Wear http://www.devil-may-wear.ca/rucca-linen-wide-leg-pants/dp/3095

These trousers can be found at Devil May Wear on Main st for $145. Photo courtesy of Devil May Wear http://www.devil-may-wear.ca/rucca-linen-wide-leg-pants/dp/3095

Shift Blouse

Although similar to a tunic, they are usually much shorter and can be classified as a T-shirt. It was originally popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s with the hippy look. With its boxy shape, this is more popularly paired with a straight skirt this season.
Shift-Blouse-for-Spring-2014-Fashion-Trend

White Blouses

This isn’t exactly a vintage-inspired look, but it’s a classic I have been seeing everywhere lately. What seems to be most popular are loose sleeveless blouses. I’ve been keeping my eye on a particular chemise one in H&M.

Shiny fabric

This isn’t one of my most favourite trends, however, dresses and skirts in metallic fabrics have become a must on the runways. A lot of looks this season are inspired by the 1970’s and this too, is no exception. Shiny attire could be seen everywhere, particularly on the dance floor in the disco-era.

Tea-length skirts

And to save the best for last, I present the tea-length skirt. There is no specific measurements that come along with the term “tea-length,” but it usually refers to about mid-calf length. Although it may not be recommended for someone of a shorter stature, I insist on wearing them myself simply for the femininity of it. It was most popular during Hollywood’s Golden Age in the 1920’s. They are now often worn with blouses tucked into the high-waisted skirt and come in a variety of patterns and colours.

Plenty sale

Finally, the long weekend is here and I’m sure for many of you, it hasn’t come soon enough. You may be preparing for your Easter dinners, but there is one more thing to put on your calendar that you won’t want to miss!

Starting Friday at 9 a.m. Vancouver’s Plenty clothing store is holding their massive annual sale.

In it’s fifth year, Plenty is hoping to bring in more people as it has become increasingly popular over the years. Starting off in a 2,000 square foot space, this year’s space has increased to 20,000 square feet at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

“It’s such a good deal that people remember [the sale] and are expecting it,” said Plenty’s communication manager Jenna Tuazon.

The local clothing store is selling items from previous seasons for men and women with a discount of 60 – 90 per cent.

Some of the shoes that will be on sale of this week's Plenty warehouse sale

Some of the shoes that will be on sale of this week’s Plenty warehouse sale

Tuazon says she expects the house brand wool coats will sell out quickly for those who will save it for the fall. Those coats can be found on sale for $40. The denim always sells out, she says as well as the shoes.

“If I were a customer, I would go for the shoes right away,” she says.

However, be prepared to wait in a long line with thousands coming down to the event.  Tuaza says that she expects over 10,000 people to join the event with customers lining through the halls of the convention centre. Last year, there were 20,000 units of clothes with more items for this year.

Making a comeback

Well, it has been quite hectic since I last posted. I am finally a journalism graduate and just recently finished an internship with Vancouver 24 hours. I have been working hard at finishing my last year at college, spending 10 to 14 hours a day at school, working on major projects. While interning at 24 Hours, I worked as a social media intern and wrote several feature articles. I was lucky enough to cover Vancouver Fashion Week and made some friends along the way.
But now that that’s all over, I will be doing weekly blog posts again on fashion trends and how they relate in history and perhaps a few feature articles in between. I am looking forward to putting my all back into this blog and constantly improving!
I hope you guys stay tuned in the future and will a be part of this experience!

I will have something new to share within the next week, but until then here is one my fashion articles from 24 Hours, in case you missed it!