Blog — 1950s

Lana Lobell catalogues from the 50s, 60s & 70s

1950s 1960s 1970s 50s catalog catalogue fashion lana lobell mid century vintage

Before there was online shopping, there were mail-order catalogues! Buyers would browse seasonal catalogues from merchants and place orders via telephone or postal order forms. Lana Lobell was one of the popular catalogue clothing labels of the 50s, 60s and 70s, which manufactured ladieswear in New York's garment district. These have to be some of the cutest dresses and outfits we've ever seen! If only we could go back in time and order all of them...

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Christian Dior Women's Suits From The 40s - 50s

1940s 1950s 40s 50s black and white christian dior couture designer dior fashion harpers bazaar haute couture new look photography suits

Christian Dior only presented his first haute couture collection at the age of 42 in February 1947. He introduced never-before-seen, sexy silhouettes characterized by the tiny waists, voluptuous busts and voluminous sleeves in a fabulous show. At the end of the fashion show, the editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar, Carmel Snow, exclaimed "It's quite a revolution, dear Christian! Your dresses have such a new look!" And thus, this style became known as the "New Look", which would revolutionize the way women dressed for decades.
I find this silhouette to be the most flattering and feminine for women of all sizes and shapes. Enjoy these images of some of Christian Dior's exquisite women's suits. They could just as easily be worn by a boss lady, or even mother of the bride today!

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50's Fashion Photography by Norman Parkinson

1940s 1950s audrey hepburn black and white fashion glamour modern norman parkinson photography vogue

Norman Parkinson (1913 – 1990) was one of England's most distinguished portrait and fashion photographers. He regarded himself as more of a craftsman than artist. His work helped revolutionize the world of British photography in the 1940s, by removing his models from the stuffy photography studios of the day to the dynamic outdoors. I love the ethereal, painterly quality to his work and the striking poses of the models.
Anne Gunning wearing a red chiffon evening dress in British Vogue, November 1956
Audrey Hepburn, US Glamour, 1955

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Swimsuit Fashion Spread From 1950: "Less bones, less nudity, more curves"

1950s 50s fashion magazines style summer swimsuit swimwear

Take a look at this fascinating article from Holiday magazine (June 1950) titled "1950: A Good Round Figure". Apparently women were about to look more like "natural" women that Summer, instead of "being disguised as little boys or long distance swimmers". American designers were going for a more modest, "feminine" look than their French counterparts, who were veering towards bikinis. Isn't it interesting how fashion trends influence not only how we adorn ourselves, but also how we view and manipulate our bodies?

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18 Pictures of Marilyn Monroe Wardrobe Tests in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953)

1950s 50s fashion gentlemen prefer blondes hollywood marilyn monroe mid century photography

On 1 June 1952, Marilyn Monroe was given a surprise birthday present by Twentieth Century-Fox, namely, that she would star as Lorelei Lee in the film adaptation of the Broadway smash hit Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Judging by these behind-the-scenes wardrobe test shots, she was made for this role, just as these daringly sensual costumes were made to accentuate every curve of her figure.

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