The New Look - The Dior Revolution by Nigel Cawthorne Published by Hamlyn pounds 20.00

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The Independent Online
On 12 February 1997 Christian Dior will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with John Galliano as the new design director. On the same day in 1947, Dior, aged 42, unveiled his first collection to shivering fashion editors and buyers in Paris. It was -13C, and Carmel Snow, editor of US Harpers Bazaar, muttered, "This had better be good." What she didn't know was that Dior's "Corolla" collection was about to be renamed the New Look by Snow herself - and that it would change the face of fashion for ever.

Nigel Cawthorne's book places the New Look in its context, explaining why the swish of vast skirts, or the sight of tiny waists and softly tailored jackets caused fashion editors to weep with joy.

If you are interested in the progress of fashion throughout the early part of this century The Dior Revolution will explain it all to you in a comprehensible, entertaining and visual way from the politics in fashion throughout the Second World War, to the effect the New Look had on architecture and design.

The text is interspersed with profiles on the likes of Chanel and Man Ray and includes explanations on the key trends that suffused the era, such as surrealism.