In the late 1940's, designer, Christian Dior unveiled his "New Look".
"Christian Dior's nostalgic and elegant 1947 collection, which featured a soft, rounded shoulder line, thin waist, and wide skirt was quite contrary to the austere style of WWII"(1)
His line ushered in the hourglass silhouette which became the standard for the '50s. Givenchy, Balenciaga and Balmain quickly picked the style up and became the go-to designers of that decade. Here are photos of some of their work from the 1950s:
The first dress is a green brocade by Hubert de Givenchy made in the mid '50s.
The second dress is by Cristobal Balenciaga made in 1951.
And the third is a strapless ball gown by Pierre Balmain made in 1957.
"Featuring creative silhouettes, a unique extra space between the garment and body and exquisite colors, his (Balenciaga's) designs were so like artworks that Balenciaga became known as "The Master" of haute couture.... Balenciaga set about using modern shapes and materials that would later become part of the mainstream."(1) Here are a few examples of his work in the '50s:
This fall the runways have brought back the hourglass silhouette and '50s fashions in full vintage force. Prada, Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, and even Christian Dior's fall collections have all revolved around the 1950s as evidenced by these photos from their shows:
Looks from Prada's Fall 2010 runway show.
Looks from Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton's Fall 2010 runway show.
The pink dress with orange details is from the Christian Dior Fall 2010 runway show and the black jacket and pencil skirt combo is from the Bibhu Mohaparta Fall 2010 runway show.
The most popular fifties come-backs from this season are:
- Swing Dresses
- Pencil Skirts
- Swing Skirts
- And Sweaters
As this is a vintage look it is much harder to find in stores. The pencil skirt and cardigan can be found about anywhere, but to find the other pieces will take a little more digging. The four best places to look would, in my opinion, be, vintage stores, "new vintage" stores, online versions of both of these, and, last but not least, your Mom and Grandma's closets. I was able to find several affordable '50s looks on Modcloth.com, which is an online store that sells some vintage and a lot of "new vintage" apparel.
Both dress can be found on Modcloth.com for $54.99
Both the dress and skirt can be found at Modcloth.com. Dress $52.99, Skirt $94.99
And I also found several Fifties Chic outfits from my mom's closet which are entirely free. Yay!!!
(1). Fashion: From the 18th to the 20th Century by The Kyoto Costume Institute