From the Desk of Carmel Snow
February 12, 1947
30 Avenue Montaigne
Attn. staff of Harper's Bazaar,
After years of drab wartime styles and mass amounts of cotton sportswear, I am beyond thrilled to have laid eyes on Christian Dior's collection earlier today. His first under his own name.
Nipped-in waists, full skirts that hit at mid-calf and yards of fabric emphasizing that the war and ration restrictions have indeed come to an end. The rejection of slim skirts and shapeless jackets that defined the fashions of World War II is as refreshing as Paris in the Spring. Monsieur Dior has brought glamour back to getting oneself dressed in the morning in addition to a freedom in fashion we have not seen for some time, if ever.
With reference to dress of the mid-nineteenth century, the silhouette presented today radiates femininity from every stitch and seam. Not practical for working in factories or manual labor in general, the "Bar" suit is sure to become the must have of the season.
I am restless with the excitement to speak with Richard [Avedon] upon my return to New York. This collection is just begging to be photographed against the cobblestone streets of Paris. Believe me when I tell you Christian's defiance against the ration restrictions is decadent. The visions of models twirling their way through the Place de la Concorde will appear in Bazaar by the end of this year, mark my words.
This collection, “it’s quite a revolution, dear Christian. Your dresses have such a new look."
Will speak again soon.
Above is a letter I imagine Carmel Snow would have written after viewing Christian Dior's infamous collection on February 12, 1947 in Paris. This particular collection has gone down in history as "the New Look." Editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar at the time, Carmel Snow, was leaving 30 Avenue Montaigne after viewing the collection when she was heard saying, "It's quite a revolution, dear Christian. Your dresses have such a new look." The name stuck and the rest is history.
All research for this post was gleaned from the following:
April 2017 issue of Harper's Bazaar, 232, The 1940s by Stephen Mooallem
March 2017 issue of Harper's Bazaar, excerpt from Harper's Bazaar 150 Years: The Greatest Moments
Fashion since 1900 second edition, 126-131, Valerie Mendes & Amy de la Haye