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RETRO-SPECTIVE: RUNWAY FASHION - 1954
American Fashion Takes On Paris Runway
Every year during the dog days, which in themselves are sufficient trial to mortal man, the world is plunged into real trouble beside which the A- and H-bomb threats and the Communist peril fade into insignificance. Inevitably, Christian Dior rides again at this season, and the resultant confusion and panic make the Four Horsemen look like Laughing Cavaliers.
Just a year ago when the world rocked with the explosive word that M. Dior was shortening the hemline, Fred Allen came forth with a brilliant and cogent suggestion. Mr. Allen suggested that some American husband go to Paris and shorten Dior.
I would now like to up-date that recommendation with an amendment of my own: Some American man should go to Paris and flatten Dior before he flattens us girls. Because that is what M. Dior is up to this season. He has abolished the bust. Or, to put it even more succinctly, as do the front-page headlines of the local papers, "Dior Abolishes Bosom." This Parisian Pygmalion has abolished the facade. Whether true or false, it must now go, go, go! In his now collection, which has just been unveiled in Paris. Dior is sawing us lovely creatures in two, but vertically. It is raining brassiere and falsie manufactures in the garment district of New York City and may soon rain movie moguls in Hollywood unless the Misses Marilyn Monroe, Mae West and Jane Russell can also rustle their respective bustles.
The Misses Monroe, West and Russell may well be beyond hope of salvage-, as M. Dior barely tolerates even hips this season, except as something on which to hang a belt. He has exorcised the waistline along with the snows of yesteryear. It boils down to a simple rule of thumb: If you can tell a big girl from her little brother during the coming season, little brother is to be congratulated. Under the new Dior dictum, boys will be boys, and girls will be, too.
The tube silhouette is the Dior ticket this year. He decrees that we are to be encased from neck to knees in a gunny sack. It is my honest opinion that M. Dior is only part of a gigantic European conspiracy to abolish the American woman. If anything can turn that trick, it is M. Dior's broomstick silhouette coupled with the new Italian make-up, which decrees that women sally forth this season looking like Dracula's bride.
There is no point to be gained in laughing off this new warmed-over-death look designed in Rome. Remember when the skeptics said no woman in her right mind would wear an Italian or motherless child haircut? The skeptics may have been correct, but --. The new pallid gray-white make-up, the circles under the eyes and the pale lipstick make milady look as if she is either an aspirant for the role of the second witch of Endor or a refugee from the morgue. Put a kid with this make-up into a Dior tube, and what have you got, Magnolia? You've got a woman who has fallen into a flour barrel and decided to stay. All right, lads. Are you men or mice? Don't just stand there. Do something! Preferably to M. Dior.
Christian Dior Fashion
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