The Third French Republic 1870-1940. Part 12

Zoom lecture



 1 June 2022

Dior's famous veste Bar in 1947

Paris is Back! The New Look 1947-1960

with Chris Boïcos


The “New Look” is the name given, in 1947, by the editor in chief, Carmel Snow, of Harper’s Bazaar to the silhouette created by couturier Christian Dior for his collection « Corolle ». A tight waist, rounded shoulders and flared skirts revolutionized the codes of fashion and femininity for the next 13 years. Yards of material, picture hats, furs, expensive perfume and luxurious fabrics made their return, and well-to-do women could at last turn their back on years of war and austerity.


The “New Look” also re-established Paris as the undisputed international capital of fashion. Paradoxically the “New Look” also imprisoned modern women in corsets, hoops and garters, depriving them of the freedom of movement and independence that they had gained in the briefer and unrestrained fashions of the war years. Thus, traditional feminine codes and attitudes were re-established, only to be broken again in the 1960s.


Our lecture will take us through the stories of all the great Paris fashion creators of the period from Dior to Balmain, Fath, Balenciaga, Givenchy, the early Saint-Laurent and of course the comeback of the infamous Coco Chanel.

Yves Saint Laurent and his collection

on Paris Match cover 1 March 1958

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