‘The New Look’ Ending Explained & Finale Recap: Does the Couture Council Forgive Dior?


Am I just a softie, or is the last episode of The New Look actually good? I don’t think I can really answer this question, but I will admit that I felt a great sense of pride at the end, almost as if I were in the room with Dior himself, honoring the world he created back in 1947. I won’t lie, there were still moments in the episode I felt I didn’t need to see, specifically all relating to Chanel’s endeavors to take back her company from the Wertheimers. I’m not quite sure how the show wants to paint Chanel because there are times she is cast in a sympathetic light, yet we know she was a Nazi and used people to get what she needed. To each their own? There’s no denying Chanel was a tremendous businesswoman—a designer, yes, but an entrepreneur like no other—and a woman at that. I suppose great power changes a person, and maybe that’s what we’re supposed to take away from the final episode. The New Look episode 10 takes off in the final days of the opening of Dior’s first couture collection.

Spoiler Alert

Does Chanel get what she wants? 

There is success, and then there is making money. Chanel’s early life was an incredible journey to the top, where she found her place and maintained it for a long time. However, after her poor decisions during the war, she became somewhat greedy. Not only did Chanel want what she had before the war in the company, she wanted part of the gross income of the company. It’s almost as if she was out for vengeance with the Wertheimers, though she was the one who dishonoured them by using the Aryan laws. Chanel decides to negotiate with her partners, the brothers, in a separate room. She says she doesn’t want to speak with Pierre and will get her lawyers to do all the talking. After they agree to give her the original 10% of profits, Chanel decides she isn’t satisfied. In the meantime, she continues to hide the truth from Andre, despite Elsa’s death. She’s never been lonelier, and Spatz sits on her head like a hawk, waiting for prey. Though she mourns the loss of her dear friend, you never truly see it when she steps into the world of business. I almost forgot it ever happened. 

Pierre is completely shocked by her demands and asks to speak with her directly. At the end of a long day of negotiations, Chanel calmly agrees to speak with her business partner. Though it’s true that, as a woman, Chanel had to work twice as hard to get where she was, she uses this idea to explain to Pierre why she used the Aryan Laws against her. “You men and your wars,” she says, as if the Jew man himself had something to do with the situation (so uncomfortable to watch). If Pierre doesn’t want to go to court, he has to comply with Chanel’s demands, and ultimately he does. He gives her everything she wants, but at what cost? We’ll get there in a bit. 

In the meantime, at Maison Dior, many of the best seamstresses from other couture houses help bring to life Dior’s collection. He’s honored by their presence, but he doesn’t want to steal from Lelong, a father figure to him. He also plans on releasing his perfume on the same day as the collection, though Zehnacker worries it’ll get in the way of the collection itself. But that’s not all; there’s more chaos in this tumultuous period for Dior because his dear friend Balmain drops by to warn him that Lelong, as the head of the Couture Council, will see to it that Dior faces repercussions for stealing 30 seamstresses from the House of Patou. Apparently, Miss Snow has told Balmain that he’s going to be the next face of couture, and while he celebrates, he also shows Dior his disdain for what he’s done to his friends. It’s not as if Dior isn’t already immensely guilty. On the other hand, Catherine is honored by the French police for her work during the war. On the other hand, though Dior is doing everything for Catherine, she’s unable to see how perfume and pretty dresses are going to help her. 

Who convinces Lelong to let Dior be? 

Carmen Snow visits Lelong to tell him about her concerns about who the next face of couture will be. Though she has named Balmain, she doesn’t quite believe it in her heart. Dior has also not allowed her to see his collection, but Lelong tells her what the situation is like with Dior and the council. Snow puts some sense into the man, reminding him that Dior is simply trying to create, and if he were in his position, he’d have done the same thing. This is like a light bulb moment for the old man. Dior watches all his women leave because his friends have told them that they can’t work for anyone in the couture council ever again if they continue to work for Dior. However, Lelong’s decision surprises them all. Lelong always thought Dior didn’t have the fortitude to be a businessman, but just when Dior decided to step up, Lelong felt betrayed. Now, he accepts the truth that what Dior has is what he dreamt of but never had the talent for. It’s true that Dior’s money can benefit the seamstresses and everyone involved in his work; thanks to Boussac, he’s able to do that, which is a good thing. 

On the other hand, Spatz shows up in Chanel’s hotel room, finally revealing his true self to André. They get into a physical altercation because André wants him gone, and Chanel threatens to hurt André further if she doesn’t tell him the truth. She finally admits to Andre that she was, in fact, a Nazi collaborator. A heartbroken André decides to leave for Paris immediately, leaving Chanel truly alone. The only person she seemed to ever truly love was Andre, and now he’s gone too, all thanks to her greed. We then see all the dresses being put together in the house of Dior, with Christian giving each of them an appropriate name. Jacques invites Balmain and Balenciaga personally to the show the next day because Dior misses his friends and it would be the best honor for him. Already, he suffers because Catherine doesn’t plan on showing up. 

How does Season 1 end? 

Catherine buries the picture of the girl she had kept with her all this while. With the photo gone, she finally has the closure she needs to move forward, if not move on. While things are looking up for the Diors, Chanel’s life is a complete mess. Andre goes to the French police and testifies to save the baron, whose Nazi connections his aunt used for his own sake. So, while the audience walks in for Christian Dior’s first-ever collection, the French police go to Switzerland to bring her back to Paris. Dior still suffers from guilt and fear because of his brother’s words. He still thinks starting his own business is a big mistake, but it’s, of course, too late for these second thoughts. The only person who can bring him out of this slump is Catherine, and she finally shows up for the show. Catherine thanks Christian for the perfume, which smells like their mother’s garden. Dior tells her that everything he does is in honor of their mother, and she’s in everything he creates. Dior’s inspiration has always been “beauty,” and who else but his mother would inspire such a wonderful idea? Carmen Snow meets Catherine when they’re seated before the show begins, and she tells Catherine that the perfume is named after her—Miss Dior. It seems Dior told her that it was named after the person who mattered the most to him (nah, I’m just sweating from my eyes). 

During The New Look‘s ending, Dior’s dear friends gather to view his first collection, “The New Look,” presented for the first time in Paris to magnificent praise and outrageous applause. In a voice-over, we hear Dior answer the question posed to him in the first episode of the show. He says that Chanel had a house of her own that she could choose to close, but some of them had to survive. What Dior wanted to do with his collection was to have people remember the feeling of joy and living again. The episode ends with a dreamy view of the final look: the “Bar” suit, a black and white silk blazer, and a full skirt, complete with a hat, as Dior finishes by saying “creation is his survival.” A montage of Dior’s great works over the decades closes the first season of The New Look.

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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