Christian Dior 1947 to 1957 Before and After his “New Look

Art History

Course Description

All Autumn 2020 courses will take place on Zoom. Readings will be available online and by in-person retrieval.

Christian Dior’s “New Look” is credited with having revived the postwar haute couture industry. Many celebrate his creations as having brought about a much-needed breath of fresh air after the devastation of the second world war.

In this three-session exploration of the creations of Christian Dior, we will contextualize his contributions by looking at pre-WWII fashion as well as considering the role played by the Parisian haute couture industry during the war. We will also look at his "hyperfeminine" designs from 1947 to 1957 with their soft shoulders, nipped-in waists, and full skirts, and discuss how they became emblematic of the 1950s feminine ideal.

Through readings and by way of a guided video virtual tour of the Dior exhibition at the McCord museum, we will explore the following questions: How new was his “New Look”? Considering the hardships and severe rationing instated during the war, how did the Parisian haute couture industry survive, and in some cases thrive? If we accept the description of his fashions as “hyperfeminine,” what type of feminine ideal did they correspond to? Why was this ideal favoured in postwar Europe, America, and Canada?

Please note that this course has a maximum enrollment of 15 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Details

First Session: Friday 13 November 2020

Course Length: 3 weeks

Friday Nov. 13th 10 to noon
Friday Nov. 20th 10 to noon
Friday Nov. 27th 11am to 1pm (guided virtual tour at the McCord Museum from 11:30am to 12:30pm)

Discussion Team: Linda Benguigui and Martin Baenninger

Degree Credit: No

Course Fees: 

$105.00 (standard tuition)

$70.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee + Museum Tour Fee:



$130.00 (standard tuition)

$95.00 (promotion for new students)


Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Degree students, course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers should not register online. 

Students pursuing studies for credit are encouraged to consult with their advisers as they register for courses.

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

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If you are NEW at TMI

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