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Moment 24: Dior's New Look

Christian Dior debuted a dramatic silhouette in 1947, highlighting cone-shaped busts and wasp waists—perfect for the era's buxom babes like Marilyn Monroe.

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Jayne Mansfield and Tom Ewell in The Girl Can’t Help It 1956

Christian Dior's dramatic New Look silhouette of 1947 brought with it a whole new decade for underpinnings, one that put the spotlight on a cone-shaped bust and wasp waist. Femininity, in all its padded, push-up glory, was in; wartime austerity, out. Even Dior, who dove into the licensing game with partner Jacques Rouet, had his own branded one-piece foundation garments and girdles that offered a curvy "uplift for buttocks," wrote WWD on March 8, 1957. Weeks later, on March 21, came the report on Emilio Pucci's "Viva" panty girdle "to lift and firm, rather than flatten." And it's no coincidence the era's sex symbols were of the voluptuous, sweater-girl sort—the Fifties were all about buxom babes Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Gina Lollobrigida, Jayne Mansfield and Lana Turner, whose 1952 film, The Merry Widow, gives today's corselet its nickname.