Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Fifties Frock

April 2013

I'm revisiting the fifties today. I feel like I'm contradicting the fantastic Mad Men post that we had yesterday, that saw women propel out of the kitchen and into the workplace with a fabulous wardrobe to match. Due to a technical hitch, I was forced to dig into my vintage archives today, and found this little summertime gem. It's currently gathering dust in my wardrobe, and I've been staring at it so lovingly for the past few days, willing for the slightest bit of sun to arrive so I can give it a day out. But, alas, we're living in England, and the only way this dress is going to be seen is through a blog post.

So yes, with it's fitted waist and billowing skirt, conservative hemline and floral design, this dress doesn't exactly scream strong, powerful woman. But, as I like to say, it's on the inside that counts, and if you happen to be a strong, powerful woman with a penchant for floral designs, then don't be put off! (I realise that saying 'it's on the inside that counts' on a clothing based blog is a bit foolish - but we'll just move on speedily). We can wear these styles nowadays and yes, they are beautiful, and yes, we do feel glamorous, but they do have a past. 
   This New Look, first introduced by Christian Dior in 1947, has an almost disappointing motive.  You may have noticed by now that my posts always seem to refer to Wartime England, so I'm going to have to apologise for bringing it up once more. Women worked their way through the war, on the land; as we've already seen, in factories, in hospitals. 
 They were forced out of the stereotypical 'angel in the household' roles that were still very much in place at the beginning of the century. It was, however, these styles that emerged post-war that encouraged women back into their previous domestic roles, let's be honest, they may be beautiful but these dresses were hardly practical for the working woman. No, they were much more suited to housewives.
 Let us take a moment to admire the wonderful Coco Chanel, who was prompted out of retirement when she first saw the New Look. "

"Christian Dior doesn't dress women," She said, scathingly "He upholsters them." Beautiful dresses, yes. Wonderful summer style, yes. Excellent motives? Debatable.  Needless to say, I'm siding with Coco. 

Dress: Cath Kidston. Accessories: Cath Kidston.  Boat: Not mine, sadly. 

No comments:

Post a Comment