Sunday, February 6, 2011

The fundamentals of fashion

Imagine my delight when I received a copy of Christian Dior’s classic tome, The Little Dictionary of Fashion. This wee book – it’s only 126, small pages long – would finally be able to shed some light on the thoughts of one of fashion’s greatest individuals.
Like Coco Chanel, Christian Dior has shaped the way women, and men, dress today whether we are aware of it or not. First published in 1954 and republished in 2008, the rise of the “lady-like” style has seen a renewed interest in this period and the designers who influenced it.

Dior is perhaps best-known for creating the “New Look” after World War II, when despite the need to continue rationing “luxuries” like fabric, he produced a distinctive skirt that was so huge and used so much material that it seemed to fly in the face of societal norms of the time.

He reportedly used 20 yards – that’s over 18 metres – of luxe fabric in the bell-shaped skirts of his Spring Summer 1947 collection; Dior’s first public ready-to-wear show.

Although the lines were called “Corolle” and “Huit”, it was Harper's Bazaar's editor-in-chief Carmel Snow’s exclamation “It's such a New Look!” that actually named Dior’s seminal creation.

To read the complete review, go to my blog on, The fundamentals of fashion

* This review was first published on  


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