Today’s house of Dior remains a major player in the fashion industry, but it’s the brand’s namesake, Christian Dior, and the “new look” he launched just after World War II that inspires Teresa Hummel.
The classic look that included a cinched, corseted waist and voluminous skirts, which is so iconic of ’50s fashion, was introduced by Dior in 1947. After years of hardship and rationing, the world of fashion was hungry for something new, and Paris’s fashion industry had taken a hard hit. Dior brought the major shift that was needed to resuscitate the French fashion industry. Gone were the knee-length fitted skirts and dresses that had become the trend to accommodate fabric rationing. Dior’s voluminous skirts were long and decadent in their use of yardage, and, when combined with a cinched waist, brought back the hourglass looks of the Belle Époque.
Teresa’s looks easily nod to Dior’s “new look” but she adds some elements that are all her own.
“I took some of Dior’s key looks and made them modern,” she explained. “I tried to incorporate the bustier, which Dior was known for. I also added hats to all of the dresses. My color palette is more modern and has a splash of color. I wanted to mix classic Dior with my modern style.”
For Teresa the real homage to Dior is in the details. When adding the corseting to the bodice of her runway dress, she took the boning out of the casing it came in and custom-sewed casing into the dress to create a smoother fit against the body.
The dress’s full skirt has kick pleats and is made of more than 14 panels, which combine gray Italian cashmere and a sheer floral print. For the kick pleat to open correctly when the model moves each panel must be precisely sewn. If one panel is off the whole effect is ruined. Adding to that pressure, Teresa could not afford to waste an inch of the costly cashmere.
Teresa took similar care with her suit look. The jacket’s tiny waist is exaggerated by the way the bottom flairs. She got this look not with boning, but by adding an interfacing of canvas with synthetic wiring between the lining and the wool flannel top cloth. She practiced several times with the interface, sewing it between muslin pieces until she was comfortable with the technique.
Despite all the time and details that have gone into her runways looks, it is the piece she is finishing now that Teresa is particularly proud of: A long, cream-colored evening gown with a jacquard print and sheer neck, which will be on display in the 132nd Annual Student Exhibition, which opens the same night that Teresa’s other looks come down the runway—May 13.
You’ll need a ticket to see the runway show. If you already have your tickets, be sure to come early for the opening of the 132nd Annual Student Exhibition.
Tickets are still available at www.ccad.edu/fashion.
The CCAD Fashion Show is an annual fundraising event that showcases the talent of graduating Columbus College of Art & Design Fashion Design Seniors. This popular event sells out every year and this blog is a portal through which to view the behind-the-scenes goings on.