December 17, 2010

Dressing for a party, 50's style

Are you still interested in vintage fashion pictures? Today, it's all about dressing for a party. Once again, the images come from the winter 1951 issue of the French sewing magazine Revue de la mode and the spring 1952 issue of Dutch sewing magazine Record.
By the way, I have mentioned my surprise at the rather large sizes (88 cm bust as the smallest size) in these magazines before. According to M, who continues to be my all-time sewing guru, this is because, in those days, there would be different publications for limited groups of sizes. I still love the styles, so I don't mind, but I would love to come across a smaller sized magazine some day.

Of course, in winter, there are many parties. On the few blogs I follow, I've spotted several people working on party dresses for Christmas.
I won't be sewing a party dress. The Dutch in general are known to be casual dressers and that certainly counts for my family (with the obvious exception of yours truly...). And although we will spend New Year's eve with friends, we will most likely cycle to their place.
The French ladies in 1951 were invited to go all-out (I scanned these from a quite a bit more than A4 original, hence the beheaded ladies):

On this page, I love the sleek full length plissee dress. And the strapless ba
ll gown with plissee decoration (no, I don't have a thing for plissee) Crazy points go to the lady with the black-and-white side-drape/peplum concoction: don't loose your head, darling!

In colour, it looks a bit like this. Lots of bright colours, full skirts and (almost) strapless bodices. I'm guessing the full length dresses are for evening, the shorter ones for afternoon.

In comparison, the 1952 Dutch selection seems rather bleak. However, we should remember this is a spring issue. Spring is not a major party season. I think that's the reason there are no ball gowns here. The yellow one comes closest and is the only one which is described as a party dress, the other ones are 'festive dresses for late afternoon'. I'd wear the green dress in a heartbeat, though. In fact, it looks a little bit like my turquoise 50's dress from last summer...


  1. I agree, both plissee dresses are very beautiful! Are you a fan of 50s fashion? I love the transition period between 50s and 60s, when the skirt become somewhat shorter.

    Thank you for the beautiful pictures!

  2. I too would wear that green dress, and happily! Sooo beautiful...
    Re the glove sew-along; I don't know if you got my last comment on this, but I'm thinking of getting to it in February. Does this suit you? I'm quite busy until then...