When we think of the revolutionary designs of Christian Dior, images of luxury, elegance, and class all become etched in our minds. Dior was best known for changing the trajectory of women’s fashion after World War II with the introduction of The New Look. As fashion conformed to social trends and the events of the world economy, World War II transformed garments styles and designs. To supply the war exertion, fabric was rationed and women had to adapt to managing with less. Although the War ended in 1945, women's fashion was still a masculine militant look.
In 1947, Dior debuted his first collection (Corolle and En 8) showing off his controversial New Look. The new silhouette featured rounded shoulders, a fitted waist, and flaring at the hips into a straight or streaming skirt that dropped to underneath the calf, giving women a figure eight shape. Initially, there was a lot of push back because many people viewed his excessive use of fabric offensive to those still impacted by the war.
Dior saw it as a fin de siècle and continued to push his designs forward and eventually they were accepted by protesters. More than seven decades after its creation, the New Look continues to inspire the fashion industry.
You can see some of these designs in the Christian Dior Exhibit situated at the Glenbow Museum. The exhibit highlights pieces from the initial 10 years of the brand designed by Dior himself.
While the full exhibit is beautiful, the details you can find in the iconic fashion, jewelry, and perfume products are what you really need to see to appreciate.