Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Style on Trial: 1950's

I finally got around to watching the rest of the series of Style on Trial. I have to say although the series was good the only decades that really interest me are the 1940's and 1950's so they will be the only ones I am reviewing. Sorry to fans of the later decades.

The 1950's panel consists of auctioneer Kerry Taylor, designer David Sassoon and pop star Brix Smith.
In the first part of the 1950's fashion essential followed on from the 40's with Dior's new look still going strong. The look was conservative and formal. Dress was impeccable with hats and gloves a must. The 'teenager' had not yet emerged so teens were expected to dress like their parents.

The 1950s sees the beginning of the 'High St' and many looks filter down from the top fashion houses. Dior sold his patterns to manufacturers worldwide so fashion follows his style. Chanel suits were also copied for the High St.

For those with money (although designer clothes weren't as expensive then) the top designers of the day were Balenciaga who counted Wallis Simpson and Jackie Kennedy as clients, Givenchy who was responsible for the revival of the little black dress with the iconic dress from Breakfast at Tiffany's and of course Dior's 'New Look'.
1955 sees a stage and screen revolution with films such as 'The Wild Ones' and the emergence of Rock and Roll. This impact heavily on young people and starts a teen culture. The booming economy means that young people can spend their allowance emulating their icons such as Marlon Brando, Marilyn Munroe or Elvis.
Many teenage 'looks' came about such as the rockers with their leather jackets, the Teddy boys who were the new dandies with their Edwardian foppish looks and their pomps and the Beatniks often seen at poetry readings dressed in black slacks polo necks and sloppy joes like the look sported by Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face.
This era also saw the emergence of denim no longer as work wear but as casual wear with Marlon Brando, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe all wearing jeans.

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