Dior Ensemble, 1954.
Once the excitement of the holidays wear off many of us struggle to face the fact that winter is here to stay. That means cold walks from the subway to work, shivering while warming up the car in the morning and trudging through the slushy snow. Away go the airy shift dress, leather jackets and most beloved wardrobe pieces.
The feelings associated with winter don’t often inspire glamorous notions of dressing. This year, I’m committed to mastering winter styling. The cold weather provides ample opportunity for layering, chic warm knits, functional while fashionable footwear and above all else fabulous outerwear.
Seeking outerwear inspiration, I looked to Christian Dior’s late 1940s and 1950s designs. Dior was a pioneer of “The New Look,” the revolutionary post-war fashion wave, and when Yves Saint Laurent began designing for Dior in the late 1950s he continued on with the groundbreaking aesthetic. Dior’s designs emphasize the waist, often followed by a full skirt, a refreshing winter silhouette for those of us who tire of marshmallow shaped parkas.
Dior translated the same sexy sophisticated cut from his signature dresses and suits to his outerwear. The attention to cut and detail highlight the value of thoughtful styling above all else. Even the spirit of Dior’s New Look is in keeping with revitalizing ones winter wardrobe. Sick of dreary, modest wartime attire, the designer redefined femininity through his hourglass silhouettes and luxurious materials. The same philosophy can be applied to winter dressing, the weather might be dreary, grey and cold but a wardrobe overhaul may just be the way to bear with winter and boost your spirits. The below photos provide ample outerwear inspiration.
(L) Doe Avedon wearing Dior, photographed by Richard Avedon, 1947. (R) Christian Dior's Oblique line, 1950s.
(L) Dior "Cortége" Coat, A/W 1954. (R) Dior house model Alla in satin and mink "Artamène" coat, A/W 1954. Photos by Mark Shaw.
(L) Dovima in Dior coat, photo by Richard Avedon, 1950s. (R) Dior tweed cape, 1956.
(L) Dior Fur Coat, 1953. (R) Dior "Tokyo" Coat, A/W 1954.
(L) Christian Dior tweed cape and dress, 1956. (R) Dior, 1956.
(L) Dior, 1956. (R) Dior, 1957.
(L) Carmen Dell'Orefice in mink jacket by YSL for Christian Dior, photo by Virginia Thoren, 1958. (R) Dior in L'Officiel December, 1958.
(L) Dior, 1959. (R) Dior, 1964.
(L) Dior A/W 1961 by Mark Shaw. (R) Dior, 1956.
1954 Christian Dior Couture Silk Coat (featured left in Vogue, September 1954) - sourced and sold to a private collector by Shrimpton Couture, see more photos here