Dress by the decade | 1950s
Hey everyone, I’m continuing on with my 'Dress by the Decade’ series. This is a series where I talk about the clothing worn and what influenced them in each decade, starting from the 1940s. If you want to see my post on the 1940s style click here. Now, onto the 1950s (my absolute favourite!).
The 1950s are said to be the ‘Haute Couture Renaissance’. Where we left off, Dior’s ‘New Look’ had just been launched. It completely shaped the style of the 50s. The square shoulders and below the knee skirts were now replaced by hourglass and feminine silhouettes, achieved with defined waistlines, rounded shoulders and shapely bust-lines.
During the war, women gained a lot of independence and equality, so it felt like they were taking a step in the wrong direction with this look. But, as they craved change after the war, most women accepted it. Dior’s silhouette was very popular, but a teeny tiny waistline isn’t everyones cup of tea. So some women opted for the sack dress, introduced by Givenchy and Balenciaga, which was a formless, nonconstricting dress.
MY FAVOURITE 1950S DESIGNERS
CHRISTIAN DIOR - As expected Dior was the most important designer of the 1950s, considering he did shape the entire fashion industry. His ‘New Look’ changed the fashion game, and many celebrities (see above) gave into wearing his soft and feminine style.
COCO CHANEL -The 1950s was the birth of the classic Chanel suit, that was so influential to the fashion industry that it’s still worn today, roughly 60 years later. She was incredibly ahead of her time with this design, while other designers were focused on the ‘New Look’, Coco Chanel was more interested in chic comfort.
HUBERT DE GIVENCHY - Givenchy was founded in 1952. That same year, he launched a collection that heavily impacted fashion history: minimal ladylike blouses and light skirts. Consequently, his designs caught the eye of many famous celebrities at the time, including Audrey Hepburn. In 1955, Givenchy presented his first shirtdress, this led to the evolution toward lantern shapes that would later become iconic.
A lot of iconic women come from the 1950s. That includes the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Bridgette Bardot. These are the celebrities who made me absolutely fall in love with the 50s style. You have most definitely come across pictures of their glamorous and photogenic styles.
During the 1940s, women embraced natural make-up with only a pop of colour from the red lips, only worn to ‘hide sadness’ from the war and to attract men. But with Dior’s ‘New Look’, women wanted a ‘feminine face’ to match the feminine style.
Women would match their make-up to their skin tone, eye colour and hair. Make-up was usually coordinated with outfits. Magazines began telling women to no longer follow trends, and start wearing make-up that enhanced their own natural beauty.
Some make-up trends from the 1950s were doe liner and cat eyes, well defined eyebrows and red lips. However, during the 1950s pink and coral lipstick also became popular.
The beauty industry boomed during the 1950s, with working women as their biggest consumer. With an increase of coloured films, women were able to recreate their favourite actresses makeup. For the first time big Hollywood stars became the faces of brands, boosting popularity.
HOW TO GET THE 1950S LOOK
Here are some simple ways you can incorporate 50s trends into your everyday look, without looking dated or old fashioned.
PUFFED MIDI SKIRTS
TWEED TWO PIECE
FOR MAKE-UP WATCH THIS AUTHENTIC TUTORIAL FROM THE 1950S
I hope that you enjoyed reading this! The next decade I will be doing will be the 1960s. Let me know if you like this series. Until next time, xoxo Georgia.