May 19, 2024

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A 1950s Fashion History Lesson: Dior’s New Look, Hollywood Bombshells, and The Golden Era of Couture

3 min read

Not to split hairs, but the seem of the 1950s was seriously born a few many years prior. When teachers chat about 1950s style record, the era is generally described as 1947-1957—and just so transpires to coincide with the decades that Christian Dior operated his vogue label. Right after the designer’s untimely demise in 1957, 21-12 months-aged Yves Saint Laurent took the reigns at the Dior, closing out the decade with his beatnik-impressed collection of 1960.

For the duration of this notorious era, vogue reached its most glamorous height, reflecting the world’s eagerness to depart wartime rations and austerity steps driving. The environment was in dire have to have of beauty and the vogue industry delivered—and then some.

Celebrating the finish of Environment War II intended celebrating ladies as gals, funds W—with nipped waists, voluminous skirts, impeccably designed-up hair, and add-ons for just about every probable celebration. For improved or even worse, the coordination of hats, gloves, and handbags—the not-a-hair-out-of-position common of the era—gave ladies innumerable fashionable and beauty diversions. The 10 years may be remembered as a phase back for gals, who chased heavenly ether-degrees of elegance, but boy, did it deliver some amazing looks.

Photographed by John Rawlings, Vogue, September 1957

Photographed by Horst P. Horst, Vogue, September 1953

Photographed by Horst P. Horst, Vogue, September 1954

Photographed by Karen Radkai, Vogue, September 1956

Photographed by Henry Clarke, Vogue, September 1955

Photographed by Erwin Blumenfeld, Vogue, April 1, 1954


Women’s Tendencies of the 1950s: The Hourglass Silhouette Reigns

Dior’s New Seem Qualified prospects

The silhouette place forth by Christian Dior in his 1947 New Glimpse Corelle Line selection dominated the 1950s. The nipped-in-the-waistline dresses, which exaggerated the female silhouette, represented a swift-speed swing of the pendulum in the 1940s, masculine silhouettes with crisp wartime shoulders and slim hips dominated. Now, shoulders were being softened with padding that rounded them, waists were snatched and shrunk to Victorian proportions, and hips were being exaggerated with tulle and crinolines that additional bulk. The target? A supremely “feminine” silhouette.

Vogue’s Paris Assortment report from the March 1, 1952 difficulty set it succinctly: “It starts at the waistline. The midsection is what catches the eye ideal absent. It really is newly superior, it is really recently minimal, or it’s the two.. but it can be often there, always stressed, and since which is the circumstance, manner appears to be much more feminine than it has in a long time.”

The aesthetic is famously considered to be led by Dior but all his contemporaries were on board and championing the seem in their possess techniques. Balenciaga, Balmain, Jacques Fath, Hardie Amies, and much more ended up churning out ultra-glamorous, remarkably female attire for most of the decade.

A whole-size evening two-piece with mink cuffs by Dior, September 1954John Chillingworth/Getty Photographs

Photographed by Roger Prigent, Vogue, March 15, 1956

Photographed by Irving Penn, Vogue, September 1950

Couture’s Golden Age

Paris Rebounds Just after its Profession

“The Chambre Syndicale de la Couture has requested that all publications displaying Paris versions from this assortment publish the subsequent line—to implement to all models proven: ‘Copyrighted model—reproduction forbidden.’ Of study course, this does not apply to shops and makers who have bought the initial products.” This PSA was printed in Vogue’s September 15, 1951 situation in “Paris Collections Notice.”

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