|Sewing Pattern courtesy of www.etsy.com/shop/ALadiesShop|
But with the war won and over, along with the grinding Depression that preceded it, the economy revved up into a full roar. It was time to party a little bit! The closed well of flirty femininity reopened as a gusher. (Although Rosie would never be put back into the box again, that is a different story.) Flouncy, frilly and frou frou were in! Full skirts, held out by crinolines, red, red lips, sexy, form fitting "wiggle" dresses and bright, sparkling costume jewelry became the silhouette of the 1950s. Yves St. Laurent, who startled the fashion world with what became known as The New Look in 1947, led the way, just as Coco Chanel had led in the 1920s. The New Look was also about sophistication. The Whole Look -- full parures or matching sets of necklace, bracelet, brooch and earrings were worn, along with hats, gloves and the right shoes. We may think of this as so much excess today, but looking at old Vogue Magazine shots from that time, one is struck by the elegance and great beauty of the best designs that incorporated all the accessories into one seamless package.
|Dress courtesy of www.etsy.com/shop/DaisyandStella|
|Pattern Courtesy of www.etsy.com/shop/CloesCloset|
So were women completely reduced to sexual objects and dutiful housewives in the 1950s?
One only has to review old black and white photographs of Dovima and other powerful women in fashion and the public eye in the 1950s to feel the power and magnetization that the clothes of that era could bestow on a woman. Rockabilly and great elegance and sophistication existed together. Sexy, feminine and even frivolous? Perhaps. Grease and Audrey Hepburn! But there were an awful lot of very strong women wearing those clothes.
|Jewelry courtesy of www.etsy.com/shop/MartiniMermaid|