The California fashion critic who penned this article believed that the fashions of Christian Dior stood firmly in opposition to the optimistic, Twentieth Century casual elegance of Claire McCardell (1905 – 1958) and Adrian (1903 – 1959). She could not bare Dior, with his vulgar penchant to spin
"the feminine figure in the unconventional manner, trying to make her look good where she ain't. He seeks the ballet dancer illusion - natural, rounded shoulders, too weak to support a struggling world...Her waist is pinched in an exaggerated indentation, the better to emphasize her padded hips...There are butterfly sleeves, box pockets, belled jackets, and barreled skirts, suggesting something like a Gibson girl, or whatever grandmother should have worn."
Click here to read a 1961 article about Jacqueline Kennedy's influence on American fashion.
"In the February of 1947, he opened eyes and mouths all over the world by showing almost-ankle-length daytime dresses. In the United States this length was christened the New Look. And Christian Dior had won, by inches the title, King of Fashion. His title is still secure. Dior designs accounted for an estimated 60% of total haute couture exports last year."
A former fashion model, Bobbie Woodward, was outraged when she awoke that morning in 1947 to find that the hidden hairy hand that decides which direction the fashion winds will blow had given the nod to some snail-eating Frenchman who stood athwart fashion's unspoken promise to continue the skirt hem's march ever-upward. Wasting no time, she quickly marshaled other equally inclined women and formed The Little Below the Knee Clubs, which spread to forty-eight states (as well as Canada) in order to let the fashion establishment know that they would not be forced into wearing this fashion juggernaut known as "The New Look".
The attached SEE MAGAZINE article serves as a photo-essay documenting the collective outrage of these women and their doomed crusade against Christian Dior.
One 1947 fashion critic believed that the New Look suffered from "a split personality". Click here to read her review.
"Christian Dior, the Frenchman who covered up women's legs with his post-war 'New Look', has now decided that the female bosom must go. In fact, if Dior has his way, the feminine figure itself will go - the bust flattened to the backbone, the wasp-waist a thing of the past, the fair curve destined to be replaced by the washboard look of the 20s."
Since The New Look sought to overhaul the fashion silhouette of the female form it was quickly understood that women would need different foundation garments to complete this look. Fashion's cry has always been: "When nature doth deny, let art supply" - and the rocket scientists of the ladies underwear subculture did just that. The attached photo-essay from See Magazine shows three pictures of the new under-lovelies.
Click here to learn about the lingerie and pajamas that had to be hand-crafted on the W.W. II American home front...
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