Should You Try It: The New Look

The latest from Apple TV+ takes a look at Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and their fashions during and after World War II

The New Look on Apple TV+
The New Look on Apple TV+ /

We’re racing toward a long holiday weekend, which means we might have some extra time on our hands. But with all the content that’s available in this era of shows, movies, and streaming options, it can be daunting to know what’s worth your time. Don’t worry, this series is here to help. Today, I’m looking at the new fashion-centric series The New Look.

Series: The New Look

Where to Find It: The first three episodes are now available, with the rest of the 10-episode first season dropping weekly on Wednesdays on Apple TV+

What’s It About: The New Look launches viewers into the world of fashion. It comes from creator Todd Kessler (Bloodline, Damages), who dives into the world of French fashion, specifically focusing on Christian Dior during and after World War II as he crafted the line that came to be called the “New Look” in post-war France.

We pick up, in the pilot, with Dior (Ben Mendelsohn) giving an interview about his style and work to a packed auditorium. At the same time, we see Coco Chanel (Juliette Binoche) returning to France after a protracted absence to dive back into the fashion world and offer competition. Soon, a member of the audience asks Dior about his work during the war, designing for the Nazi occupiers in France. He begins to answer, sharing that things are not always as they first appear.

Soon, we’re whisked back to 1943 France, which is under German occupation. We see how Dior, working then for designer Lucien Lelong (John Malkovich), worked to continue to support his family. His sister, Catherine (Maisie Williams), meanwhile used that support to help work for the French Resistance. We also see how Chanel faced her own encounters with the Nazis as she sought to help her own family (Emily Mortimer) and to regain control of her business.

You Should Try It If: You enjoy a good period piece, are a fan of learning more about history, or have an interest in fashion.

One Man’s Opinion of The New Look

Apple TV+ has crafted a catalog of original programming that is very diverse and offers a lot of different options. All of its series are well-produced and feature a stunning cast roster. This new series is no different. We get a great cast—led by Mendelsohn, Binoche and Williams—and we get a great look and period feel.

I don’t know that much about the world of fashion or the designs of Christian Dior. I might not be the target audience here but, at least in the early going, what was interesting to me was seeing people struggle to get through World War II. Most of the pilot and the whole of the second episode are set during the occupation. We see how Dior and Chanel are each faced with tough choices and the parts they play during the war.

I appreciated the craft and the performances. This is an engaging and different story that captures a piece of history in a unique way. I think this will likely have a strong hook for audiences that enjoy historical docudramas, and I could see it being an engaging ride. With a second season reportedly already in the works, the commitment will pay off for those who invest.

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