Givenchy | c. 1955
Posts tagged 1950s.
Jacques Fath | c. 1957
Jacques Fath opened his Parisian couture house in 1937. He quickly became known both for his softly sculpted garments and a talent for self promotion. This dress is likely to have been designed by Fath’s wife and muse Geneviève, who upon Fath’s death in 1954, oversaw the house until it closed in 1957.
While the dress’s surface is a soft, delicate lace, in contrast the underpinnings are highly structured: its petticoat features a boned bodice and a crinoline skirt. The pale violet colour and two-tiered skirt suggest a romantic view of women’s fashion.
Jacques Griffe | c. 1951
This looks very similar to a dress from the Met (?) from the 1850s-60s. I can’t find it now. Anyway, it is amazing.
Balmain | c. 1957
This cocktail dress, designed for the increasing elegant youth of the late 1950s is inspired by ballet and Spanish flamenco dress. It epitomises Balmain’s harmonious balance between extravagance and elegance.
Arnold Scaasi | Ensemble | c. 1958
The simplicity of the cut makes me swoon.
And when did we stop wearing coats with our gowns? I would die to see an opera coat on a red carpet today.
Rice Bowl Dress | Carolyn Schnurer | c. 1952
For her “Flight to Japan” collection, Schnurer adapted elements of Japanese costumes and textiles, as well as architecture and decorative arts. In this example, the neckline, inspired by a reversed kimono, emphasizes the wearer’s collar bones and delicately frames the face. The geometric textile pattern is inspired by sekkazome paper (meaning snow flower or snowflake dyeing), a technique in which mulberry paper is accordion pleated, folded into various patterns and dip dyed. The skirt, which is vertically boned, was inspired by Japanese oilcloth parasols. This effect creates a graceful A-line silhouette and was a practical alternative to the cumbersome crinoline petticoats prevalent in the early 1950s.
Michael Sherard | Cocktail Dress | c. 1958
Cocktail dresses gained a new popularity after the Second World War. They were worn at early evening or ‘6 to 8’ gatherings. Since guests usually stood and mingled, the gowns could include complex bustles, appliqué and skirt details, which would be crushed if sat on.
The flamenco dress was a recurring theme in 1950s cocktail and evening wear. Sherard’s version has a bell-like skirt and train made entirely of lace, his trademark fabric.
Christian Dior | “Nuit à Chicago” | c. 1954
Jean Dessès | c. 1951
Charles James | c. 1955
The inspiration for this elegant evening dress probably came from cuirasse bodices and bustle skirts of the 1870s. James was fascinated by the cut of historical dress and explored innovative new forms of garment construction, such as spiral draping. His forte included the creation of luxurious, full-skirted evening gowns. He looked on dresses as works of art, as did his customers.