The Apple TV+ show, aptly named The New Look, which is set to premiere 14 February 2024, seeks to offer viewers a fresh insight into Christian Dior’s career. Against the backdrop of World War II, after Dior left the French army in 1942, he joined Lucien Lelong in Nazi-occupied Paris before creating his own namesake label in 1946. His first, 90-piece collection was a hit, dubbed “the new look” by Harper’s Bazaar’s then editor-in-chief Carmel Snow. “It’s a story that hasn’t been told,” says executive producer, writer, and director Todd A Kessler. “Monsieur Dior’s personal story inspired people, [made them believe] that it was OK to dream once more, and it inspires me that he did it through creation, that creation is survival.”
Starring Ben Mendelsohn as Christian Dior, the show follows the fashion juggernaut’s career through World War II, and centres on his rivalry with Coco Chanel (Juliette Binoche), whose loose silhouettes were diametrically opposed to Dior’s accentuated waists and dramatic, structured separates. But the two weren’t only rivals when it came to business. Chanel closed her doors at the onset of the war and became a Nazi intelligence operative, whereas Dior’s sister, Catherine (Maisie Williams), was arrested, tortured, and interned in the Ravensbrück concentration camp for her work with the French resistance.
Kessler was inspired to tell Dior’s story to shine a light on those “extraordinary times” and the “extraordinary people” who lived through them. “The horrors of World War II brought humanity to its knees, and the unknown [designer] Christian Dior, a survivor of the four-year-long Nazi occupation of Paris, helped revive [the city’s] spirit and the desire to live again through his creations.” Executive producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura believes that Monsieur Dior’s story will resonate with audiences now more than ever. “Christian Dior’s story is one of triumph, at its heart it’s a human story. His drive to succeed reflects what we all want, the recognition of what we are capable of and who we truly are,” he says. “It’s a journey that fascinates all of us because we all have travelled our own version.”