Friday, June 29, 2012

Haute Couture of the 1950's

High sophistication from the pages of Vogue during the Dior Era
Doll created by Willem van der Leer
The 1950’s witnessed a new femininity in women’s fashions that actually began in 1947 under the  influence of  Christian Dior.  His New Look was reflected with softer shoulders, nipped-in waists, and fuller skirts.  Dior yearned for women's clothes to reflect the charm and elegance that he remembered in his mother's Edwardian gowns.  After the rationing of fabric during the Second World War, Dior's lavish use of material was a bold and shocking stroke, as his style used yards and yards of fabric. 

Made by Ana Delia Mercado
Evening versions of the New Look were very glamorous and consisted of strapless boned tops with full skirts. 

As influential and famous as Dior was, the 1950's saw many other talented designers that left their mark on the decade - Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, Yves St Laurent - just to name a few.  The decade was known for the full skirts, but we also saw slim sheath like fashions which were the epitome of glamour and sophistication.  Movie, television and recording stars in the Fifties also had a great influence on fashion.
Created by Ana Delia Mercado
During the 1950's, accessories were an integral part of a woman's wardrobe.  Matching shoes and  handbags were standard, often complemented by a hat and gloves.  Hairstyles tended to be structured, with every hair in place kept in control with hairspray.  From looking at magazines and ads from the era, most women sported short or medium length hair.  Make-up worn by fashion models gave them a vamp look, complete with arched eyebrows, heavy eyeliner and red lips.

Shirtwaist dresses were popular daywear styles during the 1950's.  The influence of the shirtwaist dress was strong, and lasted through the early 1960's
Made by Ana Delia Mercado
Women revolutionized fashion by wearing pants outside of the home, thus creating a fashion trend that has lasted through the decades.  Circle skirts and poodle skirts were popular among teenage girls. 

Capri style pants and matching tops were very popular
Made by Ana Delia Mercado


  1. Love this D, I now get to see some of your Barbies'... It's elegant and beautiful with all these dolls .. I will be back to see them..
    hugs, BJ

    1. Hi Barbra Joan,
      So glad you stopped by to check out my dolls and that you like them! More to come later, so please check back!

  2. Gracias por otra clase magistral de historia... Los diseños de tu mamá son fabulosos y eso puedo asegurarlo al poseer varios de ellos :-) Gracias amiga!!