The Fort Worth Press - 'The New Look' explores dark origins of French fashion

USD -
AED 3.67289
AFN 73.13357
ALL 95.849301
AMD 405.46655
ANG 1.799898
AOA 828.51399
ARS 841.722847
AUD 1.536925
AWG 1.8
AZN 1.698148
BAM 1.805976
BBD 2.01651
BDT 109.607003
BGN 1.805205
BHD 0.376969
BIF 2853.594349
BMD 1
BND 1.34466
BOB 6.901519
BRL 4.967971
BSD 0.998753
BTN 82.806224
BWP 13.78457
BYN 3.268689
BYR 19600
BZD 2.013094
CAD 1.35808
CDF 2770.000178
CHF 0.878085
CLF 0.035485
CLP 979.139848
CNY 7.194303
COP 3924.94
CRC 513.597119
CUC 1
CUP 26.5
CVE 101.819105
CZK 23.322104
DJF 177.847546
DKK 6.871165
DOP 58.608431
DZD 134.328979
EGP 30.800899
ERN 15
ETB 56.664943
EUR 0.921755
FJD 2.27435
FKP 0.78944
GBP 0.78909
GEL 2.65997
GGP 0.78944
GHS 12.584145
GIP 0.78944
GMD 67.892106
GNF 8583.116331
GTQ 7.79445
GYD 208.947782
HKD 7.827155
HNL 24.662265
HRK 7.030095
HTG 132.731269
HUF 361.663014
IDR 15717.1
ILS 3.573495
IMP 0.78944
INR 82.91855
IQD 1308.266233
IRR 42042.547361
ISK 137.620215
JEP 0.78944
JMD 155.989141
JOD 0.709038
JPY 149.709499
KES 146.250129
KGS 89.429738
KHR 4065.783885
KMF 454.349788
KPW 900.053605
KRW 1333.669961
KWD 0.30759
KYD 0.832248
KZT 449.846256
LAK 20844.992381
LBP 89442.489726
LKR 309.805442
LRD 190.797825
LSL 19.079734
LTL 2.95274
LVL 0.60489
LYD 4.827554
MAD 10.125768
MDL 17.793785
MGA 4521.907752
MKD 56.895517
MMK 2097.326746
MNT 3398.173417
MOP 8.050713
MRU 39.929747
MUR 45.749915
MVR 15.402876
MWK 1681.148714
MXN 17.088901
MYR 4.750505
MZN 63.496617
NAD 19.079997
NGN 1630.660387
NIO 36.761039
NOK 10.595325
NPR 132.489958
NZD 1.64124
OMR 0.384905
PAB 0.998753
PEN 3.784073
PGK 3.807193
PHP 56.166973
PKR 278.764117
PLN 3.981196
PYG 7287.501731
QAR 3.640499
RON 4.578997
RSD 108.016981
RUB 92.050255
RWF 1274.562311
SAR 3.750138
SBD 8.475185
SCR 13.530737
SDG 601.000078
SEK 10.332115
SGD 1.344255
SHP 1.26825
SLE 22.748055
SLL 19749.999975
SOS 571.502977
SRD 35.329946
STD 20697.981008
SVC 8.738931
SYP 13001.958869
SZL 19.232652
THB 35.862502
TJS 10.961004
TMT 3.51
TND 3.11975
TOP 2.370701
TRY 31.224103
TTD 6.780428
TWD 31.6238
TZS 2549.999994
UAH 38.105268
UGX 3934.62302
UYU 39.023399
UZS 12468.604565
VEF 3604243.760226
VES 36.02554
VND 24650
VUV 120.204805
WST 2.741326
XAF 605.707505
XAG 0.044499
XAU 0.000491
XCD 2.70255
XDR 0.752482
XOF 605.713098
XPF 115.503963
YER 250.349716
ZAR 19.18865
ZMK 9001.198015
ZMW 23.194763
ZWL 321.999592
  • SLAC

    0.0050

    10.305

    +0.05%

  • RBGPF

    -10.8800

    63.56

    -17.12%

  • SCS

    0.0100

    13.06

    +0.08%

  • CMSC

    0.0879

    24.87

    +0.35%

  • BCC

    0.6800

    133.66

    +0.51%

  • GSK

    -0.0400

    42.34

    -0.09%

  • CMSD

    0.0200

    24.69

    +0.08%

  • RIO

    -1.0200

    63.96

    -1.59%

  • JRI

    0.0200

    11.43

    +0.17%

  • NGG

    -0.3000

    66.08

    -0.45%

  • BTI

    -0.3900

    29.73

    -1.31%

  • RYCEF

    0.1600

    4.705

    +3.4%

  • RELX

    -0.3700

    43.67

    -0.85%

  • BCE

    -0.1500

    37.15

    -0.4%

  • AZN

    -0.9800

    65.35

    -1.5%

  • VOD

    -0.1100

    8.67

    -1.27%

  • BP

    -0.4600

    34.96

    -1.32%

'The New Look' explores dark origins of French fashion
'The New Look' explores dark origins of French fashion / Photo: © AFP

'The New Look' explores dark origins of French fashion

The fashion world makes for eye-catching TV, but the makers of "The New Look", about the origins of Dior and Chanel, show there were dark moral challenges behind the glossy facade.

Text size:

Fashion-based dramas are a hot trend right now.

Disney Plus is already showing "Balenciaga", and will soon release "Kaiser Karl", a lavish series about Karl Lagerfeld, adding to a glut of films such as "House of Gucci", "Saint Laurent", "Phantom Thread" and "Mrs Harris Goes to Paris".

For those unfamiliar with the history of French couture, "The New Look", streaming on Apple TV from Wednesday, may seem a sombre addition to the genre.

Focusing on Christian Dior and Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, played by Ben Mendelsohn and Juliette Binoche, it tracks the grim years of the Nazi occupation of Paris.

Chanel's behaviour during the war is an ongoing source of debate among historians, with many accusing her of collaboration.

She closed her business when the Nazis took over but continued to live in luxury at the Ritz hotel, took a German officer as her lover and used anti-Jewish laws to try to wrest control of her company from Jewish business partners.

"It's easy to believe you would do the right thing in that situation, but these characters were terrified for their lives, and I think it's very hard to judge them," producer Todd Kessler told AFP.

"Dior, Chanel, Balenciaga, Balmain -- all these people were making decisions of how they could possibly survive," he added.

- 'Painful story' -

"Maybe audiences will feel one way about a character halfway through an episode, and feel very differently by the end. But that's inspiring for storytellers."

The makers admitted they were nervous about approaching Binoche to play Chanel.

"We wanted a French icon to play a French icon, but we didn't know how a French actor would react given France's mixed feelings about Chanel," said co-producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. "It was very gratifying how quickly Juliette embraced it."

Dior, meanwhile, suffers through the trauma of his sister being taken to a concentration camp, but his "new look" designs came to symbolise France's sense of recovery and hope after the war.

"It's a very beautiful, ambitious series on fashion," said Pierre Groppo, head of lifestyle for Vanity Fair.

"It gives an image of Dior that we don't have. We picture him as a genius in his workshop. Many don't know this painful story that he, and many others, lived through," he told AFP.

Binoche's "subtle" performance was particularly gripping, he said.

Chanel "made decisions that were not always right, certainly, but don't forget this was a woman, alone, from a very modest background. We get the sense of someone overwhelmed by events.

"I look forward to a second season where we see her making her comeback."

T.Mason--TFWP