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How do you feel about the cinched-in waist?

Personally, I miss fashion where suits were tailored and people wore dresses that accentuated one’s waist.


Dior sketch.  A bit much?


When one is on vacation and it is 38 degrees celsius| 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside, I say, find an air-conditioned museum to visit.


Which is what I did one day while I was in Montréal.


As luck would have it, there was a Christian Dior exhibit at the McCord Museum that highlights the post-war decade (1947 -57 )  of breathtaking fashions from the House of Dior.




Courtesy of the McCord Museum, Montréal.



This was the era that Dior introduced the “New Look” to the fashion world with those cinched waists that I love so much, day and cocktail dresses, tailored suits and also reviving the elegance of ballroom dresses that celebrated ultra-femininity.




Can’t imagine where I would wear ever have worn this! But so lovely.




Here is what is written about this exhibit:

Christian Dior’s silhouette was based on a corseted, concave torso. It raised the bust and flattened the stomach and accentuated the waist and hips. it fastened tightly with hooks and eyes, making it impossible to dress alone.” 


Modernists like Coco Chanel who had introduced a casual chic and comfort into women’s fashion lines for the first time, was outraged and quoted as saying, “Dior doesn’t dress women, he upholsters them.”





It is interesting to note that during the Second World War,  Dior had designed dresses for the wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators, as did other fashion houses that remained in business during the war, including Jean Patou, Jeanne Lanvin, and Nina Ricci.



In the late 40’s and early 50’s, Dior was also designing shoes and jewelry (all of it costume jewelry).


This was in stark contract to his sister, Catherine (1917–2008), who served as a member of the French Resistance, was captured by the Gestapo, and sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, where she was incarcerated until her liberation in May 1945.


However,  to commemorate her service, in 1947, Dior named his debut fragrance, Miss Dior in tribute to his sister. (I did not know that!)


Did you know that Dior’s favourite model was Eva Peron?


Argentina’s Eva Peron in her most Chanel dress! (1951)



Anyway, no ballroom events in my future but still I think a little Dior elegance goes a long way.

Despite the obvious comfort of sweats, jeans, and the ubiquitous baggy and long tops for the more mature women, I would like to see options for fitted and tailored clothing that hug our curves no matter how abundant they have become!

What about you?

PLEASE Comment below!



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  1. Catherine Willis-O'Connor on September 5, 2021 at 10:06 am

    I wore Miss Dior for years and received many compliments

    • Diana Bishop on September 6, 2021 at 11:01 am

      Oh lucky you! I have never had a Dior dress or outfit. I wish my mother has kept her cocktail dresses and ball gowns. I would love to have them even if I would not have a place to wear them! Best to you Twink! Diana

  2. Gretchen Greene O'Brien on September 5, 2021 at 10:49 am

    Yes, I well remember cinched belts – had several! Can not imagine that type of belt now – too confining and uncomfortable! Elastic waists for my mature body!!! Thanks for the interesting history lesson!

    • Diana Bishop on September 6, 2021 at 11:00 am

      I know eh? Although while I still have waist I would like to accentuate it .. and a little hard these days with so many loose fitting clothes. I think there might be a balance between comfort and style. Love hearing from you as always. Thanks Gretchen, Diana

  3. Trudy Van Buskirk on September 5, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    It’s so nice to travel through your eyes Diana since I can’t travel since the stroke. Thanks for the pictures and the added history!

    • Diana Bishop on September 6, 2021 at 10:58 am

      Hi Trudy — How have you been? I have missed you.
      I hope I can return to Paris soon but the in meantime, I am trying my best to explore French-ness wherever I can.
      Hope you are doing well — and again, so great to hear from you, Diana

  4. Timmithea Leeds on September 8, 2021 at 6:18 pm

    I am so jealous! I’d love to see Dior dresses in person. Those tiny waists-eek! Merci beaucoup! Timmithea

  5. Rosemarie Pedulla on September 10, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    Thanks Diana for including the information regarding the Dior Exhibit in Montreal. I enjoyed my visit to Musee D’Accord yesterday Sept.9th/21 on Sherbrooke while visiting my family in Montreal.

  6. W.McGowan on September 26, 2021 at 11:34 am

    The top dress reminds me of a (stiff) green velveteen dress my mother wore with its off-the-shoulder cape-like collar and hers with a more poofed-out skirt (probably from the 1950s or 1960s; probably not a Dior). Thanks for an interesting article.

    • Diana Bishop on September 26, 2021 at 5:28 pm

      My mother could not afford Dior but she did have a dress maker who copied beautifully some of the styles and I remember my mother looked gorgeous! I do wish she had kept those dresses. I would love to have them now.
      Thanks so much for your comment. Great hearing from you, Diana

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