Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fall Fashion Going Fifties Style

Styles of yesterday always tend to come back full circle. And so it is with the look of the 50s. Fall fashion shows and the styles one is seeing are resembling 50s flavors. One is seeing everything from clothing emphasizing hourglass silhouettes front and center, and showing of cleavage to below-the-knee pencil skirts and bustier curve-hugging dresses.

So what was the style of the 50s? What can we possibly expect if this trend continues? In the 50s, there were a handful of looks. In the 50s one saw full skirts, which required a petticoat or several petticoats to give a dress the right fullness. Petticoats were stiffened through the use of starch or sugar solutions. Later, the hoop crinoline petticoat was designed with channeled tapes, which gave dresses a natural fullness.

One designer who produced full skirts was Chanel. Chanel is also known for her 1954 boxy classic suit jacket and slim skirts. Chanel used textured wool and created the silhouette look. Her suits were often lined with silk as the wool was scratchy. The dresses were also weighted along the facing.

Accessories worn with this look included strings of pearls. There was also the collarless coat and jacket she made popular, which later came back in the 80s and 90s.

Chanel wasnt the only trendsetter of the 50s, there was also Christian Dior. Dior showed his H,A, and Y lines. The H line included the slender tunic suit with a slim skirt.

Then came the sack look, a dress that tended toward a straighter waist. The trend caught on more in 1957. Many designers took the idea of the sack dress and modified it. The sack dress evolved into the trapeze dress, which was a swinging dress almost triangular in shape. It was worn with low shoes and of course the large bouffant hairstyle. It later became the short baby doll tent look of the 60s.

Other looks of the 50s included the double breasted straight fitted shirt dress. These dresses were often made of wool and came with a large white organdie collar and cuffs with a bound edge that could be detached and washed, then sewn back. The cuffs on these dresses were called French cuffs.

What else did one see in the 50s? Knit wear, leather jackets, vintage denim, scarves, fashionable bags, stockings, costume jewelry and accessories. As for color and print, the 50s was known for their florals and checks. Today, it appears both are making a comeback. Florals are showing up in autumn colors along with pastels and bright shades. Checks, as in Gingham, are being seen on blouses and skirts.

So with all of these looks coming out of the 50s will hair and make-up trends from the 50s follow? Designers say yes, but with a contemporary twist. Stylists are seeing the bright red lips and liquid eyeliner used to make creative shapes such as fishtail flicks on women. As for the hair, one is seeing the classic bun with a twist. The bun can have a fishtail plait. Some are adding ribbon headbands and silk scarfs for a more authentic 50s look. Leather ribbons are also becoming trendier.

As with style of any era, one can take the old, mix it with the new and make it their own. Fashion is about having fun and making a statement about how you are feeling so why not dress to a simpler time such as the 50s?

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