The New Look Episode 10 Review

Chris Connor reviews the season finale of The New Look…

The first season of The New Look draws to a close as we finish Christian Dior’s recount of the early years of his fashion house. This episode sees Dior’s rapid rise and a fall from grace for Coco Chanel as her actions and alliances come back to haunt her. Dior has poached from some of Paris’ other major fashion houses, to compensate for the lack of seamstresses. This causes contention with Lucien Lelong among others.

This episode feels like a culmination, rather than simply a tease for a second season, this is to its credit. It deftly wraps up its narratives and arcs in a satisfying fashion. Coco still bereft from the death of Elsa, comes to blows with Spatz and Andre about her past Nazi alliances, causing seemingly irreparable rifts. This looks set to be something that will be addressed in future and how she came to bitterly resent Dior.

Christian meanwhile is a pillar of focus, intent on putting on the best display imaginable to wow Paris and Carmel Snow. We also really sense how close the bond between him and Catherine has been, a key theme across the series, used to fine effect here. Mendelsohn has grown into a fine Dior with the stellar ensemble often making up for shortcomings in the script or storyline.

With Christian now rising up the summit of the Parisian fashion world and Coco in the gutter, this feels an apt place for the first season to finish. It will be intriguing to see what sort of response further seasons get with some mixed responses to this opening season. At its best The New Look has been an intriguing glimpse into the minds and personal lives of some of 20th Century fashion’s most recognisable names. However, the focus has at times been muddled perhaps shifting focus onto some less exciting elements, leading to an overall mixed season.

The finale of The New Look does a fine job of tying up its loose ends, it is just frustrating that some elements have been underdeveloped and other less interesting ones focused on too much. This will perhaps be addressed for the second season, which will likely see more of Chanel and Dior opposite one another as they continue into the 1950s, leaving the horrors of the war well in the rear view.

Chris Connor

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