June 19, 2024


This series provides insight into how fashion icons Cristobal Balenciaga, Pierre Balmain, Christian Dior, and Coco Chanel handled the Second World War, giving fashion a new dimension during one of the hardest times in human history.


“The New Look” enthralls with its creative flare and reveals a startling story that will speak to a wide audience. The revolutionary “New Look” collection by renowned fashion designer Christian Dior, which was introduced in 1947 and highlighted ultra-femininity to assist humanity in rediscovering beauty following World War II, is the inspiration behind the name of the series. Aside from Christian Dior, who survived the Second World War and redefined fashion, this drama examines icons such as Coco Chanel, Cristobal Balenciaga, and Pierre Balmain. Beyond style, ‘The New Look’ deftly tells the stories of legends whose routes to unfathomable triumph were lined with suffering and hardship. The series is lavishly executed and breathes authenticity, with every effort made to provide an incredibly lavish spectacle.

The show’s story takes place in 1955, during which Juliette Binoche’s character, Coco Chanel, meets with the media to discuss her upcoming collection—her first since closing her boutique at the start of the war. The press’s scrutiny also introduces us to Chanel’s contempt for Christian Dior (Ben Mendelsohn), who will be speaking to Sorbonne University’s fashion students—the first designer to do so in the institution’s 600-year existence. The show goes into flashback mode as one of the couture students questions Dior about why he continued creating clothing for Nazi women in the middle of the chaos of Nazi-occupied Paris in 1943. The modest beginnings of Christian Dior are presented.

In addition to having a compelling plot, the show excels at giving outstanding performances that give its characters life. Ben Mendelsohn assumes the part of Christian Dior, capturing the somber figure who is also negotiating the ethical dilemmas of survival. With a dash of boldness and charm, Juliette Binoche mimics Coco Chanel and pulls it off brilliantly. The choice of Emily Mortimer as Elsa Lombardi and John Malkovich as Lucien Lelong among the supporting characters only serves to highlight how superb the casting for this season has been.

With 10 episodes, “The New Look” is a period drama done correctly, with enough depth to keep you interested the entire time. There are moments in the series where it does seem corny, but these are small bumps that are easily overlooked. One of the series’ most poignant moments is still Lelong and Dior’s connection. The show succeeds by defying convention and telling a tale that many people are ignorant of, rather than staying stuck inside the parameters of fashion. Under the direction of Todd A. Kessler, which is matched by superb photography and editing, “The New Look” becomes a remarkable example of the timeless value of narrative.

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