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Softer shoulders, fuller skirts

The Story

Famous London fashion designer Hardy Amies describes the radically different look in women's clothes in 1947.

Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News
Broadcast Date: Oct. 12, 1947
Guest: Hardy Amies
Interviewer: Rita Greer
Duration: 3:09

Did You know?

• Hardy Amies had a long, successful career as a fashion designer. He designed Queen Elizabeth's dresses from 1955 until 1990. Amies passed away in 2003.

• During the early- to mid-1940s, prior to 1947, the Second World War influenced women's fashion. Dresses took on a military look. Skirts were slim and relatively short (partly because of wartime restrictions on fabric use), and shoulders were padded. The popular silhouette was one that featured a wider shoulder and narrower hip.

• 1947 was a watershed year for fashion. French designer Christian Dior debuted his first collection in February 1947, which featured a radically different style that was quickly dubbed the "New Look." The debut of Dior's New Look is often considered "one of the most significant landmarks in fashion history," according to a 1997 British Heritage magazine article. The New Look featured narrow shoulders, fitted waists and full, calf-length skirts. Dior is credited with paving the way for the ultra-feminine fashions of the 1950s.



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