Monday, 5 October 2015

1950s Fashion - Beneath the Dreamboats and Petticoats

For most of us, when we think of 1950's fashion, we think the classic cinched waist line and huge circle skirt, filled with petticoats and crinoline. That killer New Look shape, created by Dior after the Second World War, has got to be the epitome of mid century style. It's most definitely the shape I am asked for most at My Vintage and one that I tend to stock the most of!

Original 1950s Vintage Damask Print Cotton Wiggle Dress UK Size 10

But underneath all the puffed out petticoats, there was so much more to fifties fashion, most of which are still with us in 2015...

One of the most prevalent features of 50's fashion was prints. Beautiful painterly florals, illustrated and cartoon style novelty designs and technology inspired geometrics and atomic patterns. These amazing prints make so much of the vintage clothing I come across so instantly recognisable. These gorgeous prints featured on a range of fabrics, starting with silks, satins and cottons but leading to the new light nylons of the era. These materials were so very popular as they dried overnight, this made clothing cheaper and easier to was and that was a big deal to the girls of the decade.

1950s Vintage Rose Print Chiffon Prom Dress UK Size 6

Christian Dior may have created the New Look shape, but he always said that fashion should never stand still. This led to him introducing collections that each challenged preceding silhouettes. From 'Tulipe' to 'H-Line', 'A-Line' and 'Y-Line' - these collections were so popular that manufacturers from leading fashion houses such as Givenchy, Nina Ricci and Balengiaga rushed over to invest in patterns and were sometimes even known to smuggle garments back so they could be copied!

Meanwhile, over in American, a new market was blossoming. Ready to wear separates for the younger market; namely blouses, jumpers, tops, skirts, knitwear and jackets. What really made these different was that they no longer needed to co-ordinate. Mix and match became a real thing, and was commonly know as "sweater dressing" This brand new trend became an alternative and internationally accepted way to dress and that's why it provides so many of the vintage garments from the 1950's that we see today.

50s Vintage Sequin Shift Top Mermaid Blue UK Size 10

Apart from the many rails of beautiful reproduction 1950's clothing we have at My Vintage, we also have many stunning original pieces from the era. Unique and one of a kind, there are few things quite as special as an original 1950's wiggle dress or a novelty print circle skirt. Pop in to see us or have a browse online to see some of our current 50's pieces and more.

Over and out!
Em xx