A dandy (also known as a beau or gallant) is a man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies, pursued with the appearance of nonchalance in a cult of Self. Historically, especially in late 18th- and early 19th-century Britain, a dandy, who was self-made, often strove to imitate an aristocratic lifestyle despite coming from a middle-classbackground.
Though previous manifestations, of Alcibiades, and of the petit-maître and the muscadin have been noted by John C. Prevost, the modern practice of dandyism first appeared in the revolutionary 1790s, both in London and in Paris. The dandy cultivated skeptical reserve, yet to such extremes that the novelist George Meredith, himself no dandy, once defined "cynicism" as "intellectual dandyism"; nevertheless, the Scarlet Pimpernel is one of the great dandies of literature. Some took a more benign view; Thomas Carlyle in his book Sartor Resartus, wrote that a dandy was no more than "a clothes-wearing man".Honoré de Balzac introduced the perfectly worldly and unmoved Henri de Marsay in La fille aux yeux d'or (1835), a part of La Comédie Humaine, who fulfills at first the model of a perfect dandy, until an obsessive love-pursuit unravels him in passionate and murderous jealousy.
On 12 February 1947, Dior launched his first fashion collection for Spring-Summer 1947. The show of "90 models of his first collection on six mannequins." was presented in the salons of the company's headquarters at 30 Avenue Montaigne. Originally, the two lines were named as "cts and doge" and "Huit" (which included the new "Bar suit" silhouette). However, the new collection went down in fashion history as the "New Look" after the editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar Carmel Snow's exclamation, "It's such a New Look!"The signature shape was characterized by a below-mid-calf length, full-skirt, large bust (which had fallen from style in 1912), and small waist. In refutation to the post-war fabric restriction, Dior used twenty yards of extravagant fabrics in his creations. Over time however, the New Look became revolutionary and strongly popular, influencing fashion and other designers for many years to come. Prominent Hollywood figures and the European upper-class became instant clients. Paris, which had fallen from its position as the capital of the fashion world after WWII, regained its esteemed position due in part to the attention it gained from Dior's New Look. The New Look was welcomed in western Europe as a refreshing antidote to the austerity of wartime, and embraced by stylish women such as Princess Margaret in the UK.
Vintage clothing is a generic term for new or second hand garments originating from a previous era. The phrase is also used in connection with a retail outlet, e.g. "vintage clothing store."