Bar suit & hat
Designed by Christian Dior (1905-1957)
Plain weave silk tussore and pleated wool crepe mounted on stiffened taffeta; straw hat
Museum no. T.376&A-1960
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Given by Christian Dior Paris
This suit is possibly a 1950s remake of the famous 1947 Bar, possibly for Christian Dior's lecture at the Sorbonne. The 'Bar' suit was one of the most popular models in Dior's first collection which he called 'La Ligne Corolle'. The press dubbed it the 'New Look'; and the name endured. Dior took the softer feminine shape - round sloping shoulder-line, narrow waist and spreading skirts - to the extreme. Despite official complaints, it was a resounding success. 'Harper's Bazaar' published detailed line drawings of the New Look's construction and 'Bar' was also illustrated in 'Vogue' and 'L'Officiel'. To record the designs for his collections, Dior created first notebooks, then charts. At this stage they simply included a sketch and technical specifications for the type and quantity of fabric, though later they became more complex. This information helped Dior to price the designs. 'Bar' cost 59,000 francs. The jacket required 3.7 metres of silk shantung and was fastened with five hand-stitched buttons.