‘The New Look’ Episode 4 Recap & Ending Explained: Who Is Malcolm Muggeridge?


There is a poignant mood to Apple TV +’s The New Look, which makes you want to leave everything behind and follow your passion. I suppose it’s the setting against the backdrop of the war, but it’s also the way the show magnifies the trauma that the Diors faced at the time. Specifically, Christian’s inner anxiety transcends the screen and truly makes you feel as if you were in Paris in 1945. The New Look Episode 4 takes us forward into a free Paris. While to most French people, it would’ve been a moment to celebrate, to Dior, it was still a time of fear and anticipation. It was a time to give up, I suppose, since he didn’t manage to get his sister back despite all the work he put into it. Episode 4 also gives us a glimpse behind the curtain of the Théâtre de la Mode exhibition that brought some of the biggest names in haute couture together in the aftermath of World War 2.

Spoiler Alert

Was liberation enough? 

On August 29, 1944, the German troops left France, and Chanel hosted a party claiming that nothing could affect the rich and sexy (I reckon some things never change). At this party, we’re introduced to French actress and singer Arletty, and then Oscar Davies, a friend of Chanel’s nephew from university. On the other hand, we see Dior in the depths of despair at a party with a clairvoyant. We know from the show that Delahaye is here to stay and will help Dior much into the future. At this soiree, though, Dior isn’t interested in talking with her. Maybe it’s his fear of learning that Catherine is really dead. He’s still holding onto her despite fearing the worst. For most of the episode, we watch Dior return to that moment when the train passes him and never stops, as he screams his sister’s name desperately. When he’s about to leave the party, Delahaye gets a hold of him and asks if he has a child. She tells him that she sees him with an infant, but Dior pays no heed to her. Still, she does manage to hand him her card. In the meantime, Arletty tries to get Chanel to protect her from the resistance. Arletty fell in love with a German man, but in war, love equals collaboration with the enemy. Arletty claims she’s no traitor, but Chanel is unable to do anything to help her. 

Why does Chanel get picked up? 

Despite being reassured that her name will be off the list of traitors, the FFI comes to find Chanel at the Ritz. She’s taken to be interrogated, but she refuses to cooperate. Instead, she asks for a chance to call Churchill in order to stop this madness. She’s been asked if she courted a German man and also about going to Madrid, but she denies everything. Her assistant is able to get through to Churchill, and so she’s eventually freed, but not before she gives one of the soldiers some fashion advice. I suppose to the authorities, this makes her look stupid or even arrogant, but it’s a very strategic move to make it seem like she could never have betrayed France. On the other hand, Lelong comes up with the idea of doing a fashion exhibition with miniature mannequins. The Germans burned all the fabrics at all the warehouses before leaving, so there isn’t enough fabric in all of France to make real garments for human-sized models. However, Lelong’s plan would bring multiple designers together and restore the French design name. Balmain doesn’t love the idea; however, Dior and Balenciaga are all for it. Chanel, of course, isn’t included in this exhibition because she’s not a part of the council. 

What does Balmain want? 

Hervé decides to leave the house because he believes Catherine will never come back. He tells Christian that he should go see his father and tell him what’s really happening with Catherine. During these difficult times, Balmain decides to start a new couture house with Dior by his side. He’s tired of designing for Lelong, and they both know that there’s nothing more they can achieve at Lelong. However, Dior does want to be a part of the exhibition. Balmain quits unexpectedly after fighting with Lelong (honestly loved this exchange of dialogue), leaving Christian to do all the work. 

Who is Malcolm Muggeridge? 

Oscar Davies introduces Chanel to Malcolm Muggeridge, a journalist who writes for the Telegram. Muggeridge wants to do an exclusive piece on Chanel so people will stop slandering her name; however, Chanel never does press because she’s faced enough slander in the hands of the papers before. Oscar convinces Chanel that it is safe to talk to Muggeridge, and she sets up a meeting with him. In truth, Oscar has been forced by MI6 to treat Chanel and her nephew as traitors. In the meantime, Arletty is picked up by the resistance and they make a spectacle of her by shaving her head in public because she loved a German man. Just before Chanel is about to spill the beans to Muggeridge, Oscar decides to call her nephew and admit the truth. Chanel and her nephew decide to leave Paris because that is the only way they can be safe at this point. 

Why is Dior so tortured? 

Of course, the fear of losing his sister is a massive deal, but Dior is pressured by the memory of his mother, and, now we learn, from his father too. He visits his father in those two weeks before the exhibition and tells him that there’s a high chance Catherine will be killed in a death march. His father tells him that if he were a “proper man,” she would’ve listened to him when he stopped her from joining the resistance. Being a closeted gay fashion designer during World War II couldn’t have been easy. Of course, his father did not accept that he was doing good work. When he returns to Paris, Dior tells Lelong that he will not be able to design anymore and that he has to leave Paris; he can never be a “proper man.” Lelong is left heartbroken as Dior packs his bags. He does feel like a failure after all that he’s done. On the other hand, Oscar shoots himself after realizing he’s a failure, trying to save himself with the help of MI6. 

Does Dior leave Paris? 

Chanel and her nephew make it to the Swiss border. Dior goes to church before leaving, but when he’s about to head out, he sees a baby abandoned in front of the church. Dior picks up the crying baby and hands it to the nun. He immediately rushes to Delahaye to know how she knew he would find a baby. She tells him that she can only see things and that she wants to help him. Dior asks if Catherine is alive, and he gets the hint that she is. Delahaye tells him that, in order to find Catherine, he must find himself again. This is what led to the two dresses that won the most praise during the Théâtre de la Mode exhibition. Dior returns to the atelier and creates stunning pieces.

At the end of The New Look episode 4, we get a list of the many designers who took part in the exhibition, and we see Dior returning to his designer self, finally living his passion again. I don’t think anyone can take fashion unseriously after watching this show; surely it would be disgraceful. Sometimes, passion and creativity come best in your hardest moments, creating something spectacular. What a funny little thing art is! 

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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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