Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Power of Fashion & The New Look

In the Power of Fashion the authors describe the phenomenon of the "new look" as a media sensation. The question is if this style was a genuine cultural shift or one commanded by the fashion industry.

Above both Christian Dior, 1947, left is a promotional image and right by Avedon. Below Dior in 1948 and right Charles James in 1947. The "look" is traditionally described as hourglass but the general shirt was a more generous use of fabrics and richer materials. This was seen as intimidating by lower classes who argued for basic looks and shorter skirts that were common during the war.

Above by 1953 Dior was creating tighter fits, but still generous with fabrics. Below the anniversary photo in Vogue for the "new look" in 1957 shows a variety of styles including a loose fitting suit in white, indicating the look was not as fixed as is described.

The case study of the "new look" indicates that fashion is both a shift in thinking and a force by the media. We “use taste to taste to designate the subjective preference for that which there areno objective standards.” The author concludes by stating the power of fashion is to shift codes for the sake of novelty.

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