CASTING

Apple TV’s Epic Dior Show Has Found Its Catherine Dior

Maisie Williams wearing Thom Browne at the 2022 Met Gala
Photo by John Shearer via Getty Images

Apple has been quietly putting together what’s starting to look like the chicest history lesson on TV. In February, the company’s streaming service announced its plans for The New Look, a drama series and “epic thriller” filmed exclusively in Paris that delves into the height of Christian Dior’s reign over haute couture and fashion at large. But it wasn’t until Tuesday that we learned who would be a part of the cast apart from Ben Mendelsohn, who will play Dior, and Juliette Binoche, who will play Dior’s rival Coco Chanel. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the pair will be joined by a modern-day style star: Maisie Williams, who’s been steadily delving into fashion in the years since she starred as Arya Stark on Game of Thrones. (The 25-year-old actor has been known to collaborate with her boyfriend, the designer Reuben Selby, and established herself as one of Thom Browne’s foremost muses.)

Williams is set to play Catherine Dior, a French resistance fighter who was the couturier’s younger sister and namesake of his Miss Dior fragrance. (She was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944, and worked in a concentration camp before being released and awarded the King’s Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom.) Set in the decade following World War II, when Catherine turned her attention towards growing roses for Miss Dior, the series will presumably kick off in 1947, the year Dior introduced the “New Look” silhouette that would go on to revolutionize the fashion industry and establish Paris as the world’s fashion capital. Thanks largely to Chanel, it didn’t do so without drama. “Look how ridiculous these women are, wearing clothes by a man who doesn’t know women, never had one, and dreams of being one,” the designer once snapped when asked for her opinion on her peer.

It’s unclear how prominently Chanel—and her mysterious ties to the Nazis—will figure into the series, seeing as she moved to Switzerland for several years after the war. But you can expect “surprising stories” of plenty more of her and Dior’s rivals and contemporaries—Cristóbal Balenciaga, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Balmain, Pierre Cardin, and Yves Saint Laurent all among them. (The latter became Dior’s design assistant in 1955, and went on to become the world’s youngest couturier when he took over from Dior upon the couturier’s sudden death two years later.) And yet, that may not be all the sartorial content that the series’s writer, executive producer, and director Todd A. Kessler has in store. According to the Hollywood Reporter, The New Look may be adapted into an anthology series that focuses on a new fashion set each season.