The 1950s Look: Recreating the Fashions of the Fifties'
Every fashionista with her finger on the pulse knows that the Fifties are experiencing another style revival. Michelle Obama, already touted as a style icon to rival Jackie Kennedy, is just one of the high-profile personalities to take on the trend, wearing a high-waisted, full-skirted dress on her first day in the White House. Fifties aficionado Mike Brown’s book, The 1950s Look: Recreating the Fashions of the Fifties' is a timely guide to the trends and signature styles of the era - and how to translate them in 2009.
It’s not only the ‘First Lady of Fashion’ who’s channelling 1950s chic: Britney Spears dresses as a sexy fifties housewife in her video for ‘If You Seek Amy’, whilst Wonderbra have commissioned vintage-style icon Dita Von Teese to design an underwear range. And Kate Winslet's wardrobe in 'Revolutionary Road’, set in 1955, has received as many favourable reviews as the award-winning film itself.
The look, with its emphasis on curves, celebrates the female form. It is a perfect antidote to ‘size zero’ culture, replacing stick thin supermodels with the ample size-sixteen figures of Marilyn Monroe and Diana Dors.
For men the more informal fifties fashions are still widely seen. This was the decade that denim jeans arrived in the UK from the USA, and teaming jeans with a tee shirt or a leather motor-cycle jacket, as worn by Marlon Brando in the ‘Wild One’, will never go out of style.
Mike Brown deconstructs the key elements of iconic 50s fashions - from Audrey Hepburn chic to high school prom queen – and explains the origins of many items of clothing now taken for granted on today’s high street.
Over 144 pages, with more than 300 full colour photographs and pictures, readers can learn about the Trapeze dress and the Teddy Boys' quiff, pedal pushers and drain pipe trousers, and how women achieved that desirable hourglass shape. “Fifties fashion was feminine, flattering and - unlike the size zero silhouhette – actually achievable” Mike Brown says. “You may not have had the figure of Brigitte Bardot, but you could copy her look using corsets to cinch in your waist, full, layered skirts, and padded bras. There were even inflatable bras, which had an alarming habit of exploding in a clinch, or of taking on slow punctures, accompanied by strange noises! Thankfully, underwear technology has moved on, and the look can now be achieved less painfully.”
Essential reading for a 50s fashionista! Available at most book stores now.