‘The New Look’ Episode 8 Recap & Ending Explained: Does Dior Find “The Dress”?

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The New Look is a tedious endeavor to bring light to Christian Dior’s massive contribution to Parisian couture. So close to the end of the show, we’ve still not seen his career-defining collection come to life. I must admit the first episode set us up with some hope for a show about the garments and the glamor, but all that’s stitched together here is Chanel’s tryst with the enemy and how she managed to stay relevant after the war. I’m honestly quite disappointed because I was keen on seeing Dior’s work brought to life; after all, it’s a show called The New Look. Apparently, all it’s giving us a look at is Dior’s many hurdles before his eponymous fashion label took over the world. Of course, it’s important to see how Dior struggled to find his footing when the world around him constantly pushed him into a deep, dark circle, but I would’ve really appreciated more… fashion, you know? I suppose I’ll just stop complaining now and get into the recap of The New Look episode 8.

Spoiler Alert


Who is Carmel Snow? 

The New Look Episode 8 begins with Madam Zehnacker trying to convince Dior to meet with Harper’s editor, Carmel Snow. Carmel is looking for the most important story in postwar couture. However, Dior is unwilling to meet her because he doesn’t have the one defining piece of the collection. We know Dior’s a perfectionist, so it’s no surprise he wants to put out his best work for anybody who wants to have a look at what he has to offer. It’s like wanting to look at a cake when the icing isn’t done. In the meantime, Carmel Snow is actually in Switzerland, trying to understand what Chanel’s up to now that the war is over. Chanel claims she doesn’t plan on pulling up the shutters of her shop again because Paris isn’t willing to take her back in (yes, more complaining for Madam Chanel in this episode, too). She does tell Snow that it’s all simply rumors, and Snow promises to get Paris to welcome her back (fun stuff, wait for a bit). 

On the other hand, Dior is working on finding models for his atelier. Until he puts clothes on an actual female form, he isn’t going to be able to see his designs in their full glory. However, Dior will never steal; he wants fresh faces because he would never hurt his other designer friends. Just as  Zehnacker loses her patience, a new problem hits them, and the French government shuts down all the brothels, leaving the sex workers jobless. This is when they all flock in front of Dior’s store, thanks to the modeling ad. Dior isn’t one to care about status or background. All he wants is a woman who is elegant enough to wear his clothes. He finds Marie-Thérèse in the crowd and picks her to be his model. While Dior is trying to forge his way into his own atelier, Balenciaga gets a visit from Snow. She tells him that there’s a need for a new face at the forefront of the Parisian couture scene. Fashion does thrive at the end of war, so. Balenciaga is clear that he doesn’t appreciate the spotlight, and neither does Dior; however, one of the youngers, like Balmain, may be the right fit for her. However, Balmain and her don’t get along quite as well as imagined. 

Catherine is spending some time with her father, and though she’s looking much better than before, she’s still got a lot on her mind. Specifically regarding the picture of the girl she got at the camp earlier. Catherine may be guilty of hiding information about this girl, but she still hasn’t found the strength to say anything. 


Why is Chanel in a Panic Again? 

Spatz makes a return and sends a letter to Chanel as “Agent Westminster,” a threat that she would actually answer. He wants her help, as he’s in need of sanctuary. Though he needs money, apparently, he can still help Chanel clear her name. I’m not sure how one could trust the man who abandoned them (though allegedly they were together for much after the war was over). Somehow Chanel’s willing to help; she behaves as if she’s still got the world at her feet, but in reality, she’s got nothing left to her name. Spatz tries to turn Chanel and Elsa against each other. He claims Elsa could be working for MI6 and tries to infect Chanel with his paranoia. On the other hand, Elsa is completely addicted to the sedative drug Chanel gave her and won’t stop taking it. Anyone who saw the woman’s addiction to drinks would’ve never let her near the needle, but alas. 


Does Dior visit his brother? 

It’s quite clear that Dior’s a family man and has always done what’s best for his family, even if it doesn’t quite work out for him. He gets a call from his father in the middle of a busy day, asking him to go see his brother and bring him to their family home. Christian refuses because he’s obviously busy with his atelier work, but his father insists. Additionally, he’s disappointed Chrisitan would choose to start his own business when his father’s solo venture failed miserably. It’s not always like father, like son, no? Christian meets his brother Bernard in an asylum, and they speak about the sweet nothings of living in silence but not in solace. Bernard reminds Christian that his mother would’ve been gravely disappointed with the idea of putting the Dior name on a board again. I suppose she passed away because of the failure of her husband’s venture. As if Christian isn’t already self-deprecating, though he does acknowledge his skill, there’s a chance all of this will bring him down. Bernard tells Christian that the only way to succeed is by burying the dark side and letting the light shine through within oneself. I suppose for Christian, the darkness comes from his family, or that’s what it seems Bernard is trying to imply. Even the great Dior could not stand tall in front of his loved ones. 

In the meantime, Chanel sees Spatz trying to rub shoulders with Elsa and throws them both out. She tells them that she doesn’t need either of them anymore. However, Spatz has plans and takes Elsa to see an old lover to extort information from. Spatz learns that Schellenberg’s been caught and has been spilling important information. Most of his documents may have been destroyed, but there’s a chance that Chanel’s work with him may still be recorded somewhere. Elsa, who is having withdrawal symptoms, can’t stay put in the car while he finishes up his work and finds a pharmacy. She gets thrown out and dragged away by cops, and seeing the police, Spatz doesn’t dare step in. Chanel finally meets up with Snow again and gives her a taste of her new perfume. Snow has returned from Paris after having a look at Dior’s work while he wasn’t around. Apparently, she can see, too, that he hasn’t found his definitive piece just yet. Anyway, she tells Chanel there’s no way she can help her return to Paris because the evidence against her is just too much. Though she agrees to take some of her new perfume and give it to some important people, There’s no denying Chanel didn’t do a lot for fashion, so I suppose this was an obvious decision by Snow. 


Does Dior find the piece? 

At the end of The New Look episode 8, Dior learns of his father’s death from Jaques while he’s watching his name go up in front of his first atelier. Feeling the guilt of not going to visit his father, even when he begged, because he selfishly wanted to work on his own designs, leaves Dior completely devastated. He goes into the shops and takes all the sketches down from the walls. He cries for a bit, and then, when Zehnacker asks him where the designs are, he says he’s found the piece. On the sheet of paper is a black and white outfit, a white coat with a cinched waist, and a big fluffy black skirt underneath. In the background, we hear Bernard’s voice talking about dark and light. Inspiration can be anywhere; you just have to be Christian Dior to base your entire future on something so simple yet so amusing. 


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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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