Silver Jewellery World
When Christian Dior first introduced his New Look in 1947, it was not the product of years spent in the trenches as a fashion designer. Instead Dior’s famous postwar jewellery collection marked his real professional debut.This is not to say that the collection was purely a case of having beginner’s luck. Dior had been around in the Paris fashion world for several years, including time spent as assistant to Lucien Lélong. By the time he started his own couture house around 1946, he was already 41 years old.
Dior named his first collection Corolle, which was French for flower petals. Compared to the boxy, utilitarian, World War II trends that had strongly dominated the 1940s, Dior’s collection was a vision of bounty, with yards upon yards of fabric lavished on just one fashion item. The fashion press was very taken, with “Harper’s Bazaar” being the first of the media to call it the New Look.
In fact, there was much that was not new at all about Dior’s first breakthrough. Some have detected French influences from the 1860s, while Dior himself said that the collection reminded him of the appareil his mother had worn to the races when he was just a young child. Although the fashion press particularly loved Dior (“Vogue” covered him obsessively until his final death in 1957), many Europeans were shocked by the excessive use of material at a post war time when fabric was still being rationed. Others disliked the ornamentation of women—fellow Parisian Coco Chanel dismissed Dior’ range as the equivalent of dressing women up like armchair furniture.Perhaps in deference to his critics, Dior’s later collections were slightly more pared down. For example, his A-line dresses, whose silhouettelooked like the letter A, were signatures of the casual, 1950s.After Dior’s death, Yves Saint Laurent, who had been a design assistant at the firm, was named chief designer, even though he was only very young at 21. Within the space of two years Marc Bohan had replaced Saint Laurent, and he then stayed at that post for around 28 years, longer than Dior himself had been at the head of his own company...
Italian designer Gianfranco Ferre replcaed Bohan, but the next designer to make his mark on Dior was a British designer named John Galliano, who arrived at Dior in 1996. Many critics believe Galliano has best understood Dior’s particular aesthetic.
Further images of beautiful vintage jewellery can be found at:
Modern Vintage Style.