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The Prominent Color <br />(Quick Magazine, 1953)The Prominent Color
(Quick Magazine, 1953)
"Red is the color which is going to add excitement to the fall scene. In a season when black is everywhere, the woman who wants to stand out is going to turn to red to express her own sense of drama. Red will be seen in suits, in coats, in after-dark dresses. The color itself is so dramatic that designers rely on cut and line for interest."
Small Fur Hats <br />(Quick Magazine, 1953)Small Fur Hats
(Quick Magazine, 1953)
Pictured herein are three fur hats by Sally Victor (1905 - 1977: Coty Award 1944) modeled by the actress Vanessa Brown (1928 – 1999).
Lace <br />(Quick Magazine, 1953)Lace
(Quick Magazine, 1953)
"Less dependent on the whims of fashion than almost any other fabric, lace blooms perennially in designers' collections. Because it has an ageless quality, which makes it look well on women of any age, its uses are varied. This season it is treated in new ways by some of the top couturiers. It is embroidered, used as applique, beaded or scattered with sequins... There is variety in lace itself; it may be gossamer sheer or rich and handsome in design. But whatever its form, it is a universal fashion favorite [for now].

The College Fashion Forecast for the Spring of 1950 <br />(The Diamondback, 1950)The College Fashion Forecast for the Spring of 1950
(The Diamondback, 1950)
A few words that anticipated fashion's offerings for the Spring of 1950:

"This Spring is predicted to bring a completely new point of view to the clothes-conscious American woman... Although the boyish figure of the 20s will not return as pronounced, the trend seems to be toward narrow shoulders with heavy exaggerated lines above the waist and slimness below."

The Mid-Century Look in Fashion <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1950)The Mid-Century Look in Fashion
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1950)
"Hair as short as a boy's and feathered into wisps about the face... Accented waist... Long slim look... Spread-eagle effect about the shoulders obtained by deep armholes, bloused backs, big collars or little capes... Mostly narrow skirts but still plenty of full ones."

- so begins the attached two page Spring fashion review that was torn from the Women's Page of the January 25, 1950 issue of PATHFINDER MAGAZINE. Judging from the six photographs that illustrate the column, Christian Dior continued call the tunes that other fashion designers had to dance to if they expected to attract a following. The New York designers whose efforts were singled out for praise were Lilly Daché, Hattie Carnegie, Ben Reig, Ceil Chapman and Vera Jacobs of Capri Originals.

More about 1950s hairstyles can be read here...

The Basket Bags <br />(Quick Magazines, 1952)The Basket Bags
(Quick Magazines, 1952)
They clogged the shelves of every thrift shop, church bazaar and Goodwill outlet throughout all of the 70s and 80s - and during that same period costume designers used them to signify how detached and estranged a feminine antagonist was in dozens of movies and TV productions. We are referring, of course, to the basket bags of the early fifties and their heavy presence in the bric-a-brac shoppes of yore only serve to testify as to how remarkably popular they were as fashion accessories in the land of the free and home of the brave. The attached article from 1952 is illustrated with six images of the various swells of old Palm Beach clinging proudly to their wicker trophies.

(We were delighted to see that basket bags enjoyed a small come-back in the fashion world during the summer of 2017.)

The Look for Autumn <br />(Quick Magazine, 1952)The Look for Autumn
(Quick Magazine, 1952)
"The 'costume look' has developed into a strong fashion idea for fall and winter. The news is in the mis-mated fabrics and colors used in this year's go-togethers. Highly-textured (and often noisily patterned) coats and jackets are sold frankly as suits with solid color dresses or skirts... Mismatched colors as well as mixed fabrics were used by Vera Maxwell in her coat and dress team [pictured]... Ben Zuckerman offered another example of fashion's new doubling-up with black hip-length coat over a two-piece red wool jersey dress [pictured]."
Hair Fashions of the Early 1950s <br />(People Today, 1952)Hair Fashions of the Early 1950s
(People Today, 1952)
"Keep it short": that was the M.O. of the hairdressers of the Fifties (as you, no doubt, gathered from this 1949 article) - and this column, accompanied by eight photos, serves as proof. Much of this column pertains to the men who were active in 1952 hair dressing, and their deep thoughts pertaining to pny tails, perms and poodle-cuts.

Click here to read about the short hair craze of the late Forties.

The Wandering Waistline  <br />(Quick Magazine, 1951)The Wandering Waistline
(Quick Magazine, 1951)
Looking back, the fashion silhouette of the 1950s is remembered as having a very narrow waistline, but in the early days of the decade, as this 1951 fashion review indicates, the feminine waist was a highly contested battle ground:

"Where's the waist? Paris popped the question, but has yet to give the answer. On the one hand, many leading designers showed a tendency to raise the waistline. But they were challenged by a strong minority that seemed determined to drop it [pictures of both high and low are provided herein]...Apparently, Paris has decreed it the year of the wandering waist. Where it will stop may well be up to American women."

If you'd like to read about the feminine silhouette of the early Forties, click here.

Leopard and Zebra Prints Become the Thing, Again <br />(Quick Magazine, 1954)Leopard and Zebra Prints Become the Thing, Again
(Quick Magazine, 1954)
Two years before this article went to press, some Delphian at QUICK MAGAZINE scribbled these words:

"Expect fashion designers to jump on the African trend in literature and entertainment. Examples: four new African films (Cry the Beloved Country, The Magic Garden, "Latuko" and The African Queen) to be followed by a Walt Disney African wildlife film."

- next thing you know, down fashion's runways sashay the teen waifs - all clad as if they were the striped and spotted beasts who prance upon the Serengeti Plain.

Vera Maxwell and Claire McCardell  <br />(Quick Magazine, 1952)Vera Maxwell and Claire McCardell
(Quick Magazine, 1952)
From the Great Minds Think Alike Department came this small piece about two American sportswear designers, Claire McCardell and Vera Maxwell and their admirable approach in creating a light weather coat that served to both keep women warm in springtime gales, yet accommodate the full, billowing skirts that complemented their feminine forms (as well as the hip padding that accompanied many skirts of the Fifties).
Swank in the Cold <br />(Quick Magazine, 1952)Swank in the Cold
(Quick Magazine, 1952)
The slobs who run this website are a slovenly lot, so don't take our word for it - but we believe this hooded turtleneck sweater that showed up on fashion's catwalks during the fall of 1952 to have been the proverbial "bees knees"!
White Bucks and the College Look <br />(Quick Magazine, 1952)White Bucks and the College Look
(Quick Magazine, 1952)
"As college girls talked "back to school," it was clear that they had switched their allegiances from saddle shoes to a new favorite: white bucks. The girls predicted they wouldn't be white long."

Reference is also made to the rounded-button-collar dress shirts that were appearing on the backs of so many college men at that time.

College Essentials <br />(Quick Magazine, 1952)College Essentials
(Quick Magazine, 1952)
Here are a few short paragraphs accompanied by nine images concerning what the college girls of the early Fifties were wearing:

"A girl can still get into college with a sweater and skirt, but for full credit she needs quantities of gadgets. For campus, girls stick to classic Brooks Brothers sweaters, pleated skirts, blue jeans - but go wild on accessories and underwear novelties..."

The journalist then went to some effort listing many of the fashionable essentials: stamp bracelets, rhinestone handcuff bracelets, silk pleated turtleneck sweaters and harness-neck bib fronts - all to die for.

The Shoes of '52 <br />(Quick Magazine, 1952)The Shoes of '52
(Quick Magazine, 1952)
Jacques Fath and Elsa Schiaparelli <br />(Quick Magazine, 1951)Jacques Fath and Elsa Schiaparelli
(Quick Magazine, 1951)
This illustrated fashion review shows four images that depicted the sophisticated offerings by Jacques Fath and Elsa Schiaparelli from their respective 1951 mid-summer collections. What the American women who gazed upon these pages learned is that the era of the padded hips was continuing its march into the next decade.
Setting the Trends from Paris <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1951)Setting the Trends from Paris
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1951)
So much had changed in the world as a result of the Second World War, and although those shifting sands had moved much of the fashion industry to New York, the heart and soul of women's fashion was still in Paris. This article is all about the fashion kings and queens who remained in the French capital. These columns explain what all the finest French designers were up to: Dior, Balmain, Schiaparelli, Fath, Balenciaga, Lanvin etc, etc, etc...

To read further about post-war Paris fashion, click here...

Pants in High Fashion <br />(Quick Magazine, 1953)Pants in High Fashion
(Quick Magazine, 1953)
1953 was the year that designers from both Paris and New York included pants in their respective evening wear collections - even their homely little sister, Los Angeles - the new fashion capitol of sportswear, provided a pair of pants for dinner occasions.
The Fad for Felt Fashion <br />(Quick Magazine, 1951)The Fad for Felt Fashion
(Quick Magazine, 1951)
The fad for skirts fashioned out of felt began with college girls when it was discovered that a flattering silhouette could be achieved when the fabric was cut on the bias; the attached article shows the color image of a felt "ballet skirt" as a case in point.

Sub-standard fabrics play a part in fashion's march from time to time; in the Sixties there was a short-lived craze in some circles to wear dresses made from paper or vinyl.

The Strong Economy and its Effect on Fashion <br />(Quick Magazine, 1951)The Strong Economy and its Effect on Fashion
(Quick Magazine, 1951)
The antidote to the austere fashion deprivations of the 1930s and the wartime fabric restrictions that characterized the Forties arrived in the immediate post-war period when designers were at last permitted to make manifest their restrained cleverness and create an aesthetic style in a mode that was overindulgent in its use of fabric. This fashion revolt commenced in Paris, when Christian Dior showed his first collection in 1947 - couturiers in every style capitol in the West willingly kowtowed and a new era in fashion was born.
Fur Jewelry and Wraps <br />(Quick Magazine, 1952)Fur Jewelry and Wraps
(Quick Magazine, 1952)
Attached, you will find three articles on fur in Fifties fashion: one pertains to fur jewelry, the other two stoles, wraps and coats.
Sweaters and Knits Elevated <br />(Holiday, 1952)Sweaters and Knits Elevated
(Holiday, 1952)
"The new women's sweaters will probably disappoint collectors of pin-up art. They are designed, oddly enough, to appeal to women - the women of taste and discrimination who will wear them."
The Milliner's Collaboration <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1951) The Milliner's Collaboration
(Collier's Magazine, 1951)
In 1951 the finest minds in American millinery were asked to put their collective craniums together and design some hats; each brought something unique to the table - the most humorous design element that appeared in each hat included a telephone!

"Collaborators in the struggle to produce a taller plume, a more involved bird's nest, are the hat designer's - to whom carrots and cornstalks, bean bean pods and bumper-shoots are all perfectly acceptable decorations for the head."

The Bolero Jacket <br />(Quick Magazine, 1951)The Bolero Jacket
(Quick Magazine, 1951)
The Look for Spring in '53 <br />(Quick Magazine, 1953)The Look for Spring in '53
(Quick Magazine, 1953)
Thumbnail descriptions of what numerous European fashion designers were offering during the Spring of 1953.

The Swedish Touch <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1950)The Swedish Touch
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1950)