We have seen a lot of 1920s inspired fashion on the high street recently, and we think this is partly due to the release of the new Great Gatsby film, with its amazing 1920s fashion. However, it was another era entirely that really influenced fashion as we know it today - the iconic 1950s.
At the very beginning of the 50s, Christian Dior showed his first couture collection - dubbed The New Look. This term was used at his voluminous silhouettes and luxurious fabrics were such a contrast to what everyone else was being shown in the fashion world. Fabric and clothes were still scarce at this time due to the rationing of World War II, and so his wide full-flowing skirts were seen as very decadent. His designs were ultra-feminine, and were loved by ladies well into the 50s and beyond.
By contrast, the other influential designer at the time was Pierre Balmain. As well as being a fashion designer, Balmain also designed the costumes for 16 films, including 'And God Created Women,' - the film that shot Brigitte Bardot up to sex kitten status. In this film, Bardot shocked many by wearing a shirt dress during one of her scenes, and many women flocked to recreate this look afterwards, as well as wearing tea dresses.
These contrasting designers just go to show what a style circus the 1950s were, with lots of different captivating styles floating around. At the beginning of the era you had the wasp-waisted Dior New Look, followed by the very popular floral tea dress. Then, Audrey Hepburn brought a more Beatnik style into play with her role in 'Funny Face' showing her wearing black tops and trousers - a real departure for ladies at the time. However, she still preferred to wear dresses in her private life and even gave her name to a certain style of dress which to this day is known as the Audrey Hepburn style dress. Jeans also became popular at the end of the 1950s with big screen heroes such as James Dean, Elvis and Marlon Brando making them popular amongst teens of the time.
The 1950s can be summed up by the fact that it was a time of youthfulness and vibrancy - a reaction to the drab period that came previously with the rationing and hardship of war. The outlook was more upbeat, people were able to travel more easily, and design was celebrated in films and fashion. This is probably why this decade is revisited so often.
So, now comes the big question - how can we recreate the 1950s style today? Nothing beats a vintage floral tea dress, or why not try a wide circle skirt with a jacket that is nipped in at the waist. Alternatively, you could try a pencil skirt with a jacket, and then nip your waist in by wearing a belt. Alternatively, take a look at the vast range of the 1950s inspired dresses on our website.
For more information on vintage style dresses, including tea dresses and Audrey Hepburn style dresses, please email us at care@littlewingsfactory or fill in the contact form online.