By Patricia Baker
A part of a background of style sequence which appears to be like on the twentieth century decade by way of decade. This quantity seems on the sort of the Twenties and the social and cultural history to the models of the interval. The publication is illustrated with a mix of unique and resource documentation.
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Extra info for Fashions of a Decade: The 1950s
Pucci, Emilio (1914–92) A Neapolitan aristocrat by birth, Pucci was educated in the United States. His interest in sports led him to design some winter ski outfits that caught the attention of the fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar. He became the sports- and leisure-wear designer in the fifties. St. Laurent, Yves (1936–) Born in Algeria, St. Laurent was employed by Dior in 1953 and took over on Dior’s death in 1957, bringing the Trapeze Line and the “little girl look” to haute couture the following year.
The advantages of nylon for underwear were considerable. Advertising promoted its qualities as easily washable, shrink proof, and quick drying, as well as lightweight and long lasting. “Goodbye to mending” was the message. It could be produced in all weights of fabric, from heavy fake fun furs to the sheerest of lingerie. It could feel as soft as silk, yet be stiff enough to hold out the circular skirts of a dance dress. American housewives could now manage the home laundry in record time—and in top-to-toe elegance—thanks to the new top loader, but they still needed a man around to install it and fix the odd problem.
Commercial laundries and dry cleaners weren’t cheap, and anyway, dry cleaning removed the water-resistant finishes from garments until new processes were introduced in 1959. Laundromats were still few and far between, so once a week the boiler, washboard, and heavy mangle would be dragged out or—for those lucky enough to own one—the lumbering top-loader washing machine with integral mangle. Suddenly, artificial fabrics came to the rescue. Some of them had been around for several years, but only in the 1950s was there large-scale production, dramatically increasing supply and lowering costs.