“A dress is a piece of ephemeral architecture, designed to enhance the portions of the female body.” Christian Dior.
Christian Dior, from his start collections in 1947 to Christian Dior by Raf Simons collections in the more recent years, all embody the shape and movement of the female body. By embracing and harmonising the shape of the feminine body allows the silhouette to encompass a clear cut ‘classic beauty’ for the body, where the waist is narrow and bust and hips are wide, allowing to conform to the ‘perfect partitions of the idealistic body, dating back to Vitruvius’ ideas from 1st century BC. Christian Dior’s first ground breaking collection in 1947, titled “New Look”- (Figure 1) enabled women to “return to the idea of civilised happiness”(Christian Dior). Due to the war ending in 1945, Dior unequivocally turned the views of rationing, uniforms and restriction to a dress code of lightheartedness and seduction, which Dior was previously familiar with in his childhood. His aim was to extract women out of uniform and ‘practical’ clothing, which was needed in the war period and renew the abandoned traditional dress of elegance.
“I wanted my dresses to be constructed, moulded on the curves of the female body whose contours they would stylise. I accentuated the waist, the volume of the hips, I emphasised the bust. In order to give my model more hold, I had nearly all the fabrics lined with percale or taffeta, renewing a tradition that had long been abandoned”
At the time, this collection was considered by some controversial as it took back the freedom that women had earned whilst the happenings of the world war were taking place. Women were viewed as equals due to the need of a female to replace a man, and his requirements, however, Dior removed this right when the “New Look’ collection was realised due to his desire to return back to tradition.
The “New Look” innovation proceeds to inspire Raf Simons, as he reinterprets the legendary curves of the clothing in his latest collections, including his Spring/Summer ’15 line.
This dress evokes the traditional silhouette of Dior. Due to the cut of waist provides the emphasises on the width of the bust and hips, creating a feminine form. Raf Simons, has used ideas from Dior with consideration to a modern context as the materials used are more practical to a woman of the twenty-first century. The cut-outs allow for the classic silhouette without using a corset or thick materials such as taffeta, which restrict movement and comfort.
Due to modern technology, a futuristic twist can be presented on a garment of classicality. The shape of the heel demonstrates the advanced modern technology on today, which allows balance and strength on such a curve.
This collection of garment evokes the modern day “bar suit” from the “New Look” collection. The cut of the material is essential in the jacket as the curve isused to accentuate the bust, nip in the waist and heighten the hips. Although being high structure to the form of this suit, the modern day has been taking into consideration as the skirt length is shortened, allowing higher practicality.
Watch the Spring/Summer’15 catwalk below:
Ella Elysia x