Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How to wear the New Look (1948)

In 1948, with Dior's New Look emerging from the controversy of its launch the previous year to take its place in the fashion mainstream, Everywoman magazine ran this feature in its June issue. It explains how to live the Look, from posture to make-up:

Now that the fuss has subsided, perhaps you've sunk your cash and coupons in a spring New Look, and quite charming I'm sure you are, but, you know, the clothes aren't the whole story. So much depends on how you wear them.

It's no good wearing a new length ballet skirt and displaying just a glimpse of (as our grandfathers said of our grandmothers) a well-turned ankle, if you're going to sit with it all twisted out of shape; it's no good choosing a dress which relies for effect on a full skirt and whittled waist, if you're going to support all your weight on one hip and let your tummy bulge.

Good carriage is always important, as you'll see if you look about you, but with the new line it's absolutely essential, because the Look can be ravishing or it can be hideous. In fact, "When it's good it's very, very good but when it's bad it's horrid."

As the new silhouette does everything possible to make us more deliciously feminine than we have been since grandma's day, so, too, must our make-up fall into line.

Gone is the artificial complexion, the over-emphasised mouth, the dramatic eye make-up; in their place is a roses and cream pinkness - rosy colour, creamy texture.

[...] Lips are the key to the new look in make-up. They will be softer, prettier, less dramatic. The colours you see on this page are reproduced from actual lipsticks in the new look shades. You will notice that they are all pinks, but there are different tones to match different coloured fabrics. All the lipsticks will, of course, go with greys. Every smart woman will have at least one of these lipsticks in her summer wardrobe; each is flower-soft and utterly feminine.

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