The couture jacket to dream of, often admire, and always appreciate.
For the 1947 Spring/Summer Haute Couture collection shown at 30 Avenue Montaigne, attendees were apprehensive. The war was just ending, and women were eager and interested in discovering the latest collections. Christian Dior, a new and exciting designer residing at that address had something to say. In the show, there were many lovely frocks for day or evening, entertaining at home or out at an event, but the most memorable ensemble consisted of a simple white jacket and black skirt. But oh what a jacket! Made of sumptuous off-white silk shantung with princess seams, simple shoulders and a peaked lapel. Its closure was five covered buttons and created a waist women dream about. The structured jacket had a full hemline that was three times the length of the tiny waist and padded at the hips to give emphasis to the model’s womanly curves. The black matte crepe skirt had five metres of fabric pleated in it, which was an unheard of extravagance in this post war economy and hit at the right point between the model’s knees and ankles. The bar suit was born and declared “Dior’s New Look” by journalist Carmen Snow. That iconic silhouette Dior created has been shown by the various creative directors at the famous fashion house from Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Ginafranco Ferrer, John Galliano, Raf Simons and to this day you can still see a version of it with every collection shown by the current director, Maria Gratzia Churi. It is a classic!
The Victoria and Albert has an original suit and you can see the curator describing the suit in this video:
V&A Bar Suit
Haute Couture is a very special process, all made by hand to exact measurements of the wearer. You can see a video about the process creating a Bar Coat in red here:
Dior – Couture Bar Coat in Red
In 2017, in Paris, I was able to attend the Musée des Arts Décoratifs exhibit of the Dior archives, and the very first display was the iconic bar suit. You can watch a movie about building the exhibit here:
Dior exhibit Musee des Arts Decoratifs