Queen and her then- in, 1954. The Queen's summer suit features a fitted short-sleeved jacket with a peplum and a full skirt. The minister wears a double-breasted suit.
Fashion in the years following World War II is characterized by the resurgence of casual rockabilly fashion after the austerity of the. Square shoulders and short skirts were replaced by the soft femininity of 's "" silhouette, with its sweeping longer skirts, fitted waist, and rounded shoulders, which in turn gave way to an unfitted, structural look in the later 1950s.
General trendsGirl in Tel Aviv, 1947.
The return of fashion
By 1947, the Paris had reopened, and once again Paris resumed its position as the arbiter of high fashion. The "orderly, rhythmic evolution of fashion change" had been disrupted by the war, and a new direction was long overdue. The padded shoulder, tubular, boxy line, and short skirt (that had been around since before the war and was identified with uniforms) was gone. A succession of style trends led by and defined the changing silhouette of women's clothes through the 1950s. joined and in disseminating clothing styles. The new silhouette had narrow shoulders, a cinched waist, bust emphasis, and longer skirts, often with wider hems.
The beginnings of Eastern fashionExample of a, worn by 's father Xi Zhongxhun in 1958.
During the early 1950s, designers in the sought to create an identity distinct from European fashion. Urban professionals in Asia and the Middle East, for example, might wear Western style suits with indigenous headgear such as the, or. In, the traditional was adapted into the, while women frequently wore in the workplace. Meanwhile, the Red Chinese developed the unisex in green, blue and grey to promote socialist values of equality. Due to their minimalist, modern design, both types of suit would later be adopted by and trendsetters during the, especially and.
Casual clothing and teenage styleNylon stockings being inspected in, in 1954.
One result of the was a flood of synthetic fabrics and easy-care processes. "Drip-dry", and, which could retain heat-set after washing, became immensely popular.,, and were all introduced in the 1950s. During the 1940s were an incredibly popular product as they were a lightweight alternative to silk and wool stockings. For the duration of WW2 the company produced nylon exclusively for the war effort. At the end of 1945 the demand for was so great that ensued at stores selling the products.contestant wears the co-ed's uniform of a short-sleeve sweater and pencil skirt, with high heels, 1950.
Social changes went hand-in-hand with new economic realities, and one result was that many young people who would have become wage-earners early in their teens before the war now remained at home and dependent upon their parents through high school and beyond, establishing the notion of the teenage years as a separate stage of development. Teens and college co-eds adopted skirts and sweaters as a virtual uniform, and the American fashion industry began to target teenagers as a specialized market segment in the 1940s.
In the United Kingdom, the of the post-war period created the "first truly independent fashions for young people", favouring an exaggerated version of the -flavoured British fashion with skinny and narrow, tight trousers worn short enough to show off garish socks. In North America, had a similar social position. Previously, teenagers dressed similarly to their parents, but now a rebellious and different youth style was being developed.
Young adults returning to college under the adopted an unpretentious, functional wardrobe, and continued to wear with shirts and pullovers for general informal wear after leaving school. introduced the phrase "" in 1948, generalizing from his social circle to characterize the underground, anti-conformist youth gathering in New York at that time. The term "" was coined by of the in 1958, and the stereotypical "beat" look of,, black, and unadorned dark clothing provided another fashion alternative for youths of both sexes, encouraged by the marketing specialists of.
The New Look Revolution
On 12 February 1947 at 10.30 a.m. Christian Dior, aged 42, presented his first collection at 30 Avenue Montaigne, which was strewn with flowers by Lachaume. The Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar, Carmel Snow, strongly believed in the couturier’s talent, which she had already noted in 1937 with the Café Anglais model that he designed for Robert Piguet. At the end of the fashion show, she exclaimed, “It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian! Your dresses have such a new look!” A correspondent from Reuters seized upon the slogan and quickly wrote it on a note that he threw from the balcony to a courier posted on Avenue Montaigne. The news reached the United States even before the rest of France, where the press had been on strike for a month.by Dior, silk taffeta, 1954. Indianapolis Museum of Art.
The Bar Jacket, An Icon Of The New Look
With his revolutionary New Look, Christian Dior wrote a new chapter in the history of fashion. Furthermore, in order to write it, he literally constructed it with his own hands. The designer had to hammer away at a Stockman mannequin that was too tough and unyielding to bear the preparatory canvases of his visionary wardrobe, says his friend Suzanna Luling: “And so, with big, nervous blows of the hammer, he gave the mannequin the same form of the ideal woman for the fashion that he was to launch.” His aim was clear; his hand did not tremble. “I wanted my dresses to be ‘constructed’, moulded on the curves of the female body whose contours they would stylise. I accentuated the was it, the volume of the hips, emphasised the bust, In order to give my designs more hold, I had nearly all the fabrics lined with percale or taffeta, renewing a tradition that had long been abandoned.” Thus, on 12 February 1947 at 10.30 a.a., the announcer introduced “numéro un, number one”. The first outfit was worn by Marie-Thérese and opened the show during which the audience saw 90 different creations file past, belonging to two principal lines: En Huit and Corolle. Bettina Ballard, Fashion Editor at Vogue, had returned to New York a few months earlier after 15 years spent covering French fashion from Paris: “We have witnessed a revolution in fashion at the same time as a revolution in the way of showing fashion.”British women shopping at, 1945
The "softness" of the New Look was deceptive; the curved jacket peplum shaped over a high, rounded, curved shoulders, and full skirt of Dior's clothes relied on an inner construction of new interlining materials to shape the silhouette. This silhouette was drastically changed from its previous more masculine, stiff, triangular shape to a much more feminine form.
Throughout the post-war period, a tailored, feminine look was prized and accessories such as gloves and pearls were popular. Tailored suits had fitted jackets with peplums, usually worn with a long, narrow. Day dresses had fitted bodices and full skirts, with jewel or low-cut necklines or. Shirtdresses, with a -like bodice, were popular, as were halter-top sundresses. Skirts were narrow or very full, held out with ; were a brief fad. (full-skirted gown for occasions) were longer than ankle-length dresses (called "ballerina length"), reaching the floor and worn to balls (as they are today). Cocktail dresses, "smarter than a day dress but not as formal as a dinner or evening dress" were worn for early-evening parties. Short and bolero jackets, often made to match low-cut dresses, were worn. Meanwhile, in Israel, simple, blue cotton shirts and utilitarian, khaki military-inspired dress remained popular choices for many women due to ongoing economic austerity and the need to feel prepared for war.
Christian Dior's 'New Look' collection in 1947 brought a revolution to the fashionable silhouette of the Fifties. Dior's nostalgic femininity of round shoulders, full skirts, padded hips and tiny waists replaced the boxy style of the wartime period at WWII. The trend of hourglass silhouette brought by the popularity of Dior guaranteed the market for intimate apparel. Although intimate apparels are usually hidden by outerwear, intimate apparel is especially emblematic for the contradictory beauty in the 1950s as the silhouette was created depends on the type of foundation garments worn. Foundation garments became essential items to maintain the curvy silhouette, especially waspies, girdles and horsehair padding. For example, the sales of corsets doubled in the decade 1948-58 (Haye, 1996 p.187). Dior's 'New Look' collection brought back the boned intimate apparels for women, even the young one, in order to create the feminised silhouettes that embrace feminity. Symington Corset Company of Market Harborough was one of the famous intimate apparel producers in the 1950s as they are the official producer of Dior's corselettes and girdles. "All the girdles were produced to the same design, in either black or white. The sugar-pink cotton velvet trimming was a particular feature of the range, and some were woven with Christian Dior's initials in the elastic panels on the side..." (Lynn, 2010, p.106). A brand new 'Bri-Nylon' fabric was introduced by the British Nylon Spinners. This fabric was popular fabric to be applied on intimate apparel in the 1950s because it was one of the first easy-to-launder and drip-dry fabric. There was a full corset advertisement in 1959 shows the popularity of 'Bri-Nylon' and the design of the corselet in the 1950s. 'This exquisite Dior corselet features jacquard elastic net with the down-stretch back panel of stain elastic. The enchanting front panel is in Bri-Nylon lace and marquisette highlighted with criss-cross bands of narrow velvet ribbon. It has side fastening - partly hook and eye with zipping extension. The very light boning is covered with velveteen.' (Warren, 2001, p.30 ) From the above advertisement, it is not hard to find that the corselets in the 1950s were constructed in details with boning, panels, different fabrics in different elasticity.
While the corselets reshaping the women's body with tiny waists and big hips, a new shape of bra called 'cathedral bra' was introduced and became popular in the 1950s. It is called 'cathedral bra' because there would be pointed arches created by the bones over the breasts when the bra is worn. The bones also separate and define the shape of the breasts by pressing them into a pointed or bullet shape. Therefore, 'cathedral bra' was also called the bullet bra. This brassiere design was popularised by actresses like Patti Page, Marilyn Monroe, and Lana Turner, who was nicknamed the "Sweater Girl.” Although this brassiere design was designed for wearing strapless cocktail dresses and evening gowns and became popular during the 1950s, the market for this design was short-lived because it was 'likely to slip down or need adjustment throughout the evening' (Lynn, 2010, p.152). However, another brassiere design re-entered the market and grew popularity during the 1950s which even influenced the modern intimate design. Underwire bras were first introduced to the market in the 1930s, however, it was forced to quit the market because the steel supply was restricted in the 1940s for WWII. Underwire brassiere design re-entered the market as it helped to uplift the shapes of the breasts to form the trendy curvy silhouette with big bursts in the 1950s. Made with nylon, elastic nylon net and steel underwires, the underwire bras helped to create fashionable high, pert bosom. Underwire bras are still dominating items in the modern intimate apparel industry.
Clothes for the space age
From the mid-1950s, a new unfitted style of clothing appeared as an alternative to the tight waist and full skirt associated with the New Look. Vogue Magazine called the knitted chemise the "T-shirt dress." Paris designers began to transform this popular fashion into haute couture. Spanish designer had shown unfitted suits in Paris as early as 1951 and unfitted dresses from 1954. In 1958, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior's protégé and successor, debuted the "Trapeze Line," adding novel dimension to the chemise dress. These dresses featured a shaped bodice with sloping shoulders and a high waist, but the signature shape resulted from a flaring bodice, creating a waistless line from bodice to knees. These styles only slowly gained acceptance by the wider public. made a comeback in 1954 and an important look of the latter 1950s was the Chanel suit, with a braid-trimmed cardigan-style jacket and A-line skirt. By 1957, most suits featured lightly fitted jackets reaching just below the waist and shorter, narrower skirts. Balenciaga's clothes featured few seams and plain necklines, and following his lead chemise dresses without waist seams, either straight and unfitted or in a princess style with a slight A-line, became popular. The sleeveless, princess-line dress was called a skimmer. A more fitted version was called a sheath dress.
had become an American design center during the war, and remained so, especially for sportswear, in the post-war period. Women who had worn trousers on war service refused to abandon these practical garments which suited the informal aspects of the post-war lifestyle. By 1955, tight fitting became popular among American women.Casual sportswear was also an increasingly large component of women's wardrobes, especially the white T-shirts popularized by and between 1957 and 1963.Casual skirts were narrow or very full. In the 1950s, pants became very narrow, and were worn ankle-length. Pants cropped to mid-calf were houseboy pants; shorter pants, to below the knee, were called pedal-pushers. Shorts were very short in the early 1950s, and mid-thigh length appeared around 1954 and remained fashionable through the remainder of the decade. Loose printed or knit tops were fashionable with pants or shorts. They also wore bikinis to sport training.
, including the brand popular in Israel and America, were one- or two-piece; some had loose bottoms like shorts with short skirts. High waisted appeared in Europe and the South Pacific islands, but were not commonly worn in mainland America until the late 1950s.
Hats and hairstyles
Hair was worn short and curled with the New Look, and hats were essential for all but the most casual occasions. Wide-brimmed saucer hats were shown with the earliest New Look suits, but smaller hats soon predominated. Very casual short cropped hairstyles were fashionable in the early 1950s. By mid-decade hats were worn less frequently, especially as fuller hairstyles like the short, curly poodle cut and later bouffant and became fashionable. "Beat" girls wore their hair long and straight, and teenagers adopted the, short or long.
In the 1950s, was the first woman to show her pregnancy on TV. The television show brought new attention to maternity wear. Most of the maternity dresses were two pieces with loose tops and narrow skirts. Stretch panels accommodated for the woman's growing figure. The baby boom of the 1940s to the 1950s also caused focus on maternity wear. Even international designers such as and created maternity wear clothing lines. Despite the new emphasis on maternity wear in the 1950s maternity wear fashions were still being photographed on non-pregnant women for advertisements.
On September 29, 1959, the maternity panty was patented which provided expansion in the vertical direction of the abdomen. The front panel of this maternity undergarment was composed of a high degree of elasticity so in extreme stretched conditions, the woman could still feel comfortable.
Style gallery 1945–1954
- Probable unidentified young actress in, 1948
- Teacher in Raleigh, USA in 1949.
- with cuffs (turn-ups) are shown with a short-sleeved, fitted sweater, Germany, 1952.
- , 1952.
- Fashion in vacation in Hungary 1952.
- , 1953.
- in cropped houseboy pants at a press conference, Los Angeles, 1953.
- of a "corselette", showing the pointed bust and curvy hipline of 1953.
- and wear halter-top summer dresses, Hollywood, 1953.
- 's hair is worn in a short and curly poodle cut in this publicity photo for, 1954.
Style gallery 1954–1960
- in bright blue day dress, 1954.
- wears a full-skirted dress with a small Peter Pan collar, 1955.
- Fashion in summer in Florida 1955.
- wearing a "bullet bra" brassiere design in 1955.
- in wears a fitted sheath dress with a sweetheart neckline, 1957.
- hair style, 1958
- of 1958 are sleeveless with high, wide "boat" necklines, Dresden.
- and in an Argentine fashion spread from 1958.
- performing in 1958 wearing a tight-fitting sheath dress.
- in a Princess Ballgown styled dress, 1959.
- of "Miss Beatnik" contestants in Venice, California, 1959.
- Women wearing swimsuits in vacation in Hungary 1960.
- Summer dress in Hungary 1960.
MenswearWriter wears a pullover sweater, casual shirt, and cuffed trousers, 1959. 's look – especially his pompadour hairstyle – was very influential in the mid-1950s., 1957.
Immediately after the war, men's were broad-shouldered and often double-breasted. As wartime restrictions on fabric eased, trousers became fuller, and were usually styled with cuffs (turn-ups). In America, introduced the "Bold Look", with wide shoulders, broad lapels, and an emphasis on bold, coordinated accessories. In Britain, clothing rationing remained in place until 1949. Demobilised soldiers were provided with a suit by the government, usually in blue or grey chalkstripes., the traditional home of or custom, had been heavily damaged in the and was slow to recover. In 1950, proclaimed the "Return of the Beau". Savile Row introduced the "New Edwardian Look", featuring a slightly flared jacket, natural shoulders, and an overall narrower cut, worn with a curly-brimmed and a long slender with velvet collar and cuffs. This was the style commandeered by the, who added bright socks and a bootlace necktie, achieving a "dizzy combination of and American." The horrified tailors of Savile Row dropped the overtly Edwardian touches, but the style of business suits continued to move away from the broad cut, and single-breasted two-piece suits with narrower lines and less padding in the shoulders became fashionable everywhere. Dark charcoal gray was the usual color, and the era of the was born. By the later 1950s, a new Continental style of suit appeared from the fashion houses of Italy, with sharper shoulders, lighter fabrics, shorter, fitted jackets and narrower lapels.
Sports and leisurewear
Sport coats generally followed the lines of suit coats. plaids were fashionable in the early 1950s, and later plaids and checks of all types were worn, as were jackets with leather buttons and., originally worn by hunters, miners and, were a popular cold weather coat in America and Canada, and would later be adopted by the teenage subculture. On the West Coast many guys, including and Ricky from, favoured two color with belts and, often in black, white, cream, beige, burgundy, air force blue, mint green, sky blue, chocolate brown, dusky pink, or grey.-colored pants, called chinos, were worn for casual occasions., often in, appeared in mid-decade and were worn with knee socks., worn untucked from suspenders, also became widely popular during this era. This summer fashion of the Hawaiian or Carioca shirt became particularly popular in America, with even President Truman being photographed wearing a marine flora shirt. Knit shirts and sweaters of various kinds were popular throughout the period. Some young men wore tight trousers or jeans,, and white.
Hats and hairstyles
Men's hair fashion favoured the wet look, achieved by the use of products such as. Young men often grew their hair out and, with or other hair treatments, coiffed their hair into.
were commonly worn by men during the 1950s and early 1960s.
Style gallery 1945–1949
wearing the pleated trousers fashionable in 1947.
Taking delivery of a new car, 1947.
Single-breasted summer suit with cuffed trousers and matching hat, Hot Springs National Park, 1948.
Men's and boys' casual sports clothes for 1948.
Insurance salesmen wear suits, hats, and patterned ties, Minneapolis, 1949.
Style gallery 1950–1960
Double-breasted suit, New Orleans, early 1950s
Emil-Edwin Reinert, Joan Camden, and Francis Lederer in a production of Stolen Identity, Vienna, 1952. Lederer (left) wears a broad-shouldered overcoat and scarf
Belgian singers and wear modified pompadour hairstyles, suits with sharply peaked lapels, and patterned ties, 1955.
Actor wears "wet look" hair parted on the side, 1957.
, former U.S. President, and Hans Schweiger in overcoats, 1958.
Young men, late 1950s.
- During and after the war, oversized were worn by rebellious teenagers,, and gang members, especially African-Americans, Italian-Americans, a.k.a., and. Suit coats were long and, and pants were and very. The look was completed with a large chain, black and white, a wide brimmed, and a brightly colored silk.
- From the late 1940s until the mid 1960s, many and teenagers were involved with,, and. American, Japanese, Swedish and Aussie based their look on the clothing worn by mechanics and fighter pilots, including a black, blue or canvas work jacket, black or white, button up short sleeve shirts with the sleeves rolled up several times sometimes having a flannel or other types of patterns, and blue usually worn with either a large or small cuff at the hem, along with,, or other types of dress shoes, and. The British equivalent, known as the, dressed similarly but rode lightweight Triumph and BSA bikes. Some girls wore jeans and leather jackets like the men, but most wore more typical college attire such as,,, and with.
- During the early 1950s, Britain's own subculture appropriated the then fashionable Edwardian revivalist fashion due to its resemblance to the clothing worn by Old West gamblers and the seen in. A typical outfit included a red or sky blue with velvet,, waistcoat,, and or. Teddy Girls, known as Judies, often wore long,,, and.
- The early to mid 1950s also witnessed the beginnings of the look among young, wealthy high school and college students in the. Due to the, more men were able to go to college and aspired to imitate both the wardrobe and the athletic pursuits of the long-established upper class students. Typical hairstyles included the,, and, and common accessories included,,,, white, or ties,, tartan, grey or flannel, and blazers in the South. Known as,, and, this subculture underwent a revival in the 1980s as the look.
BeatniksModern actors dressed as 1950s Russian Beatniks or.
- In the late 1950s, the precursor to the late 1960s and 2010s emerged in Bohemian parts of London, Paris and the urban US. Black sweaters, sandals,, striped shirts,, and were popular among of both sexes, and men often wore. The Russian equivalent of the Beatnik, known as (style hunters), wore thick soled shoes, brightly colored socks, and exaggerated American style clothing in imitation of Western film actors and modern musicians.
Children's wearRoy Rogers was a role model and trendsetter for many boys growing up in the 1950s.
- Due to the, there was a high demand for clothing for children. Children's clothing began to be made to a higher quality, and some even adopted trends popular with teenagers; many boys started wearing to. Many girls' and young women's dresses were styled after those of the older women.
- Originally everyday workwear in the, comprising, Stetson and checked shirt was worn by many young boys during the 1950s in imitation of like and. A craze for and fringed shirts coincided with the release of by during the mid 1950s.
Child's dress, 1947.
German girl's dress, 1953.
Indian family, 1950.
High school prom including a guy (center) wearing Teddy Boy style suit with, 1956.
Hairstyles and cosmetics
- Brockman (1965), p. 54
- ^ Russell, Douglas (1983). Costume History and Style. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. pp. 453–454. .
- Brockman (1965), pp. 54–55
- Tortora & Eubank (1994), p. 414.
- Brockman (1965), p. 75.
- ^ Tortora & Eubank (1994), p. 413.
- . Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
- . LA Times. October 27, 1988. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
- Handley, Susannah (1999). Nylon: The Story of a Fashion Revolution. Johns Hopkins Univ. Press. p. 48. .
- Tortora & Eubank (1994) p. 406
- Brockman (1965), p. 76.
- . www.dior.com (in French). Retrieved 2018-04-21.
- . www.dior.com (in French). Retrieved 2018-04-21.
- Brockman (1965), p. 53.
- See,, V&A Museum.
- Bigelow, Marybelle S. (1979). Fashion in History: Western Dress, Prehistoric to Present. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Burgess Publishing Company. p. 309.
- Cumming (2010), p. 51
- ^ Tortora & Eubank (2005), pp. 420–426.
- See, V&A Museum
- Haye, A. (1996). The cutting edge. London
- ^ Lynn, E. (2010). Underwear fashion in detail. London : V&A Publishing.
- Warren, P. (2001). Foundations of fashion: he Symington corsetry collection 1860-1990. Leicester:,
- . 2 February 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- ^ Wilcox, R. Turner (1958). The Mode in Costume. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 417.
- ^ Tortora & Eubank (1994), p. 427
- See, V&A Museum
- Brockman (1965), pp. 39, 50
- Tortora & Eubank (1994), pp. 415–18
- ^ Tortora & Eubank (1994), pp. 421–23
- Cumming (2010), p. 163
- Tortora & Eubank (1994), p. 414
- Scholarly Article. "Celebrate Women's History Month" Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. copyright 2008.
- Tortora & Eubank (2005), pp. 432, 439
- D. L. Rosenburg. September 29, 1959. United States Patent Office. Maternity Panty.
- ^ Walker (1988), p. 106
- ^ Tortora & Eubank (1994), pp. 432–33
- ^ Walker (1988), pp. 108–109
- See, at the V&A.
- Walker (1988), p. 116
- Chenoune, Farid (4 October 1993). A History of Men's Fashion. Paris: Flammarion. pp. 223–225. .
- "Looking Back": an illustrated history of the American Ophthalmic Industry, by the Optical Laboratories Association
- Fassel, Preston.. The Optician's Handbook. Retrieved 2013-06-10.
- Brockman, Helen. The Theory of Fashion Design, New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1965, ,
- Cumming, Valerie, C. W. Cunnington and P. E. Cunnington. The Dictionary of Fashion History, Berg, 2010,
- Samek, Susan M. "Uniformly Feminine: the "Working Chic" of Mainbocher." Dress 20 (1993): p. 33–41.
- Tortora, Phyllis G. and Keith Eubank. Survey of Historic Costume. 2nd Edition, 1994. Fairchild Publications.
- Tortora, Phyllis G. and Keith Eubank. Survey of Historic Costume. 4th Edition, 2005. Fairchild Publications.
- Walker, Richard: The Savile Row Story, Prion, 1988,
- .. from the original on 10 May 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
- . Fashion, Jewellery & Accessories.. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- . Fashion, Jewellery & Accessories.. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- - art, life and fashion in the 20th Century.
- , an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains a good deal of material on fashion from this period
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