Day Dress | c. 1947

An enormous bustle bow dominates this striped silk dress by Victor Steibel. In February 1947 Christian Dior had launched the New Look featuring pinched waists, full skirts and a soft shoulder line. It was an attempt to reinstate feminity in dress after a period of wartime austerity and shortage. The impractical scale and frivolity of Steibel’s bow was clearly a defiant gesture against rationing. It makes lavish use of material and is so large and weighty that it requires the support of a sturdy horsehair frill beneath the skirts.