Welcome to the world of Christian Dior, where women can blossom into flowers… as long as they have an hourglass figure! The renowned lover of all things elegant released his very first collection in February 1947, during which time France was still clearing the ashes of World War II. The time had come to put the role of women soldiers/ factory-workers on the shelf; to accomplish this, Dior put his faith in the superimposition of different builds. Thin waistlines, transforming the woman into a gracious plant, juxtaposed with skirts just wide enough to complete the metamorphosis : the flower, a symbol of the multiple aspects of a newly liberated femininity. The Tailleur Bar was born. Fascinated by this new wonder, socialites flocked to Dior’s T-shaped signature look in droves. This radically avant-garde design inspired Carmel Snow, editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, to coin the term “New Look”. A new term was well in order for these unusual new skirts, made of 40 meters of fabric and gracing the legs until about 30 cm above the ground.
While the fashion sector was bowing down to this fresh talent, public opinion rebelled in the midst of a newly restrictive period: the cleaning ladies of rue Lepic were infuriated when they saw the first New Look dresses, going so far as to grab at their corsages and rip the outfits to shreds. A single fashion had never before garnered such a reaction, teetering somewhere between scandal and envy. Even so, the luxurious and ostentatious style of the Tailleur Bar is tied solely to the unique savoir faire of Christian dior, who even used parachute fabrics, often in silk. The originality of Dior’s Style was thus total: the silhouettes that he imagined were able to diffuse a renewed sort of opulence and liberty, whereas typical post-war Parisian garb was religiously devoted to flat chests and short skirts.