Key looks of the decade
The 1950s kicked off with a feeling of hope and euphoria following the conclusion of the Second World War, and the generally rapturous applause that greeted a New Look presented by Christian Dior in 1947. In Britain, the government promised to “Make Britain Great Again” and immediately set to work on the Festival of Britain that took place on the South Bank of the Thames in 1951.
For women’s clothes 1950s was a time to dress up in luxurious feminine attire after the hardship and drudgery of the war years. 1950s fashions are remembered for two quintessential silhouettes: the great full skirt that swirled and sashayed and the slim pencil tubular skirt that fell to the knee. Both these silhouettes placed great emphasis on the narrowness of the waist.
After the miserable war years, women were eager to embrace femininity in their wardrobe. Strategic padding and structured underwear did much to improve a less than perfect body to create the new clothes 1950s look.
Women everywhere fell in love with the glamorous clothes 1950s chronicled as “the fashion conscious 50s”. An elegant appearance required the right accessories to decorate: gloves, hats, bags and matching shoes adorned ladies throughout Europe and America. Wide belts were used to emphasise small waists, net petticoats were worn under full skirts to give lift and movement, and simple flat black pumps based on the a classic ballet shoe became popular.
Key designers of the decade that dictated the look of clothes 1950s included: Christian Dior, Cristobal Balenciaga, Jacques Faith and Hubert de Givenchy. However, the clock was ticking and as the decade unfolded, there were signs that the elitism of haute couture was starting to lose it’s dominance.
The approach to beauty during the decade became other-wordly. Eyes were re-defined – wide sweeps of eyeliner flicked out at the corners precise eye-brows were drawn – and counterpointed by dark lips and porcelain skin. Hair was brushed, coiffed and set into a sleek shape. False eyelashes were essential and mouths remained closed.
For the latest collection, Silk & Sawdust has recreated a selection of key looks to bring the femininity and womanly curves of 1950’s clothes to ladies today.
The pictures below show some of the inspiration we’ve used to recreate clothes 1950s for Silk & Sawdust collections in the past