Paris: the epicentre of glamour, culture and taste. The French capital has long had a reputation for breeding and housing the most iconic names in fashion, from Chanel and Dior to Yves Saint Laurant, Balmain, Balenciaga and Givenchy.
But behind the couture and coveted styles lies a deliciously dark story of rivalry, greed, deception and mystique. And those hidden histories are the subject of Apple TV’s most exciting new project: The New Look.
Billed as a “epic fashion thriller”, the upcoming series “centres on the pivotal moment in the 20th century when Paris led the world back to life through its fashion icons: Christian Dior, whose creations dominated world fashion in the decade following World War II.
“The interwoven saga will include the surprising stories of Dior’s contemporaries and rivals: the grand dame Coco Chanel, Balmain, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent and more.”
Sources have described The New Look as a potential anthology that could feature a new fashion-set story each season, allowing us to delve even deeper into the shadowy past of our most beloved labels.
The series has already found its two leads, with Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline) and Juliette Binoche (Chocolat) stepping into the artfully made shoes of Christian Dior and Coco Chanel, respectively.
Emmy-nominated Game Of Thrones actor Maisie Williams is set to play Catherine Dior, Christian’s younger sister and winner of the King’s Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom.
What’s the true story behind The New Look?
The “New Look” refers to bell-shaped, petal-like long skirts in taffeta and tulle, lifted busts, softly sloped shoulders and cinched-in waists made famous by Dior’s first ever public couture collection. It was markedly different from the preceding pared-back, more androgynous styles – of which Chanel was a key purveyor. Dior’s hugely successful look was instead romantic, lavish, elaborate and feminine.
While beloved figures, both Chanel and Dior were not without their controversies.
Dior was nicknamed ‘The Tyrant of Hemlines’, and initially, there were protests against him by some women because his designs covered up their legs, which they had been unused to because of the previous limitations on fabric during wartime.
During the German occupation of France during World War II, Chanel was criticised for being too close to the German occupiers to boost her professional career.
Dior and Chanel were also famed rivals, with Chanel once saying of her fellow designer: “Dior doesn’t dress women, he upholsters them.”
“Look how ridiculous these women are, wearing clothes by a man who doesn’t know women, never had one, and dreams of being one,” she reportedly remarked of his debut collection.
When will The New Look be available to watch?
A premiere date has not yet been determined, so we’ll have to sit tight to sink our teeth into the drama. But what we can say is that with so much juicy material to go off of, it’s sure to be worth the wait.
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