Fashion Flashback-New Look Holiday Fashions of 1947

When it comes to fashion, every era has its key looks that that particular decade was remembered for. Whether it’s the straight, unstructured silhouettes of the 1920s, figure flattering bias cut styles of  the 30s or the wasp waisted full skirt styles of the 50s,  there is an iconic silhouette that is representative of every era.

But actually, that sort of over simplifies things, as no decade really had one style that was the same from the start of the decade to the end. Fashion really doesn’t work that way, as evidenced even by modern day trends.  At the end of one decade there are often popular styles that carry over for a time into the next decade.  And one of the most enduring silhouettes that comes to mind is what is termed  the “New Look”, popularized by Christian Dior in February of 1947.

Read more about this look that revolutionized the fashion industry.

Though 1940s fashion is often thought of as more austere and tailored because of  World War 2 and the resultant fabric rationing,  many people don’t realize that not long after the war ended in 1945, an innovative new designer named Christian Dior decided women were ready for a change after all those years of conserving.  So he started designing dresses utilizing yards and yards of fabric,  with voluminous skirts that had longer hemlines and tight bodices that emphasized the waist.  And this became such a popular silhouette that you’ll see it in dress styles from the end of the 1940s,  right through the 1950s and even into the middle of the 1960s.

Below are some examples of cocktail and evening fashions as shown in the 1947 December Holiday Edition of Harper’s Bazaar. As you can see, Dior’s “New Look”, introduced earlier that year, did not take long to catch on with other designers.

Dior’s “Libellule” evening gown with full white tulle skirt, cascading green satin waist sash with clusters of roses.  The name Libellule translated means dragonfly. The American Adaptation was available at Bergdorf Goodman for $295.00, which would equal $3150.00 today. So can you imagine what the original sold for?

Dior Libellule Gown

Dior Libellule Gown

I adore the design of this bodice, with its gathered sweetheart neckline,  curved fabric fold that frames the bust and the ruched elbow length sleeves. Positively stunning!

Berdorf Goodman "new look" dress

Berdorf Goodman “new look” dress

Black chantilly lace in the lovely illusion bodice and encircling that gorgeous full skirt!  Love the idea of accenting the waist with a couple of roses.

Black chantilly lace by Mil-Jay

Black dress with  chantilly lace by Mil-Jay

White satin gown with fringe by Jacques Heim.

Jacques Heim white satin dress

Jacques Heim white satin dress

Blue fine wool flannel hostess gown by Nini Turcotte. Can you imagine looking this glamorous when entertaining your guests at a dinner party in your home?

Hostess gown by Nina Turcotte

Hostess gown by Nini  Turcotte

Red silk taffeta dress with fur trim by Norman Norell.

Norman Norell red silk dress

Norman Norell red silk dress

White satin and heavy white cotton Venetian lace gown by Maggy Rouff.

Maggy Rouff white satin and lace gown

Maggy Rouff white satin and lace gown

All these are dresses are beautiful, ladylike and timeless. I don’t know about you, but I would have no problem wearing any one of them to a dressy holiday party of fancy dress ball, were I fortunate enough to own one of them!!!


Have a glamorous day!


By | 2016-01-21T10:28:44-04:00 December 5th, 2015|Fashion|2 Comments

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Theresa, owner and chief classy dame at the Blue Velvet Vintage online boutique. Lover of mid century fashion and home decor, classic films, Old Hollywood, pretty dresses, red lipstick, swing dancing and retro culture in general. Between my ecommere site and vintage style blog my mission is to revive the eras of classy dressing and inspire women to add more glamour to their lives! So don't be shy! I love to hear from others who share my appreciation of the styles of the past.


  1. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell December 21, 2015 at 9:41 am

    That is one of my favorites too. Though I must say, I’d be happy with any one of them! Have a great holiday, Jessica 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Jessica Cangiano December 21, 2015 at 7:24 am

    What chic, heart poundingly beautiful outfits. The Chantilly lace trimmed dress in particular took my breath away.

    Happiest holiday season wishes!
    ♥ Jessica

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