WOMEN: Hiking the Hemline

In 1947 Paris Designer Christian Dior brought fashion adventure to millions of U.S. women, and economic indigestion to many U.S. husbands, when he pioneered the sensationally long dresses of the New Look. Last week Designer Dior was tinkering with the hemline again, moving it in a different direction. While 250 fashion experts, most of them from the U.S., looked on questioningly, Dior mannequins glided into his showroom wearing new skirts of startling shortness, their hems raised to a height of 15 to 17 inches above the floor (present average: 12 to 14 inches).

The shortened hemline, like other Dior maneuvers, was...

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