Vintage Couture

Pierre Balmain n Carl Van Vechten photo
Pierre Balmain adjusting a dress on model Ruth Ford in 1947 Carl Van Vechten photograph

Our favorite vintage couture designers from the 1950s are responsible for creating gowns for some of the most style conscious Hollywood actresses, fashion models, and socialites of all times.

After the moderation and thriftiness of the 1940s, fifties fashion turned toward the glamour women were craving. Famous celebrities from the fifties wore gowns designed especially for them by their favorite designer fashion labels. These socialites, celebrities, and actresses often formed lifelong alliances with, allegiance to, and often friendships with top couturiers.

During the fifties, the woman’s form was exaggerated with the cinched waistline and full skirt known as the “Dior New Look” while the “Balenciaga Revolution” changed women’s silhouettes with his open neck, wide collared, and broad shouldered tunic dress. Vintage Dior and Balenciaga fashions are frequently seen at award ceremonies today.

Madame Gres detailed pleated fashions and sculptural designs were called works of art with many of the younger designers quoted as saying they were in awe of her talent.

Pierre Balmain designs were carefully crafted and often featured elaborately beaded and embroidered full skirts. A Balmain creation is a popular favorite for today’s celebrity red carpet fashion.

Coco Chanel, best known for the original little black dress, designed for Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, and Ingrid Bergman. She also popularized the costume jewelry that became a fifties fashion staple.

Despite their inauspicious beginning, Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy enjoyed a lifelong friendship as well as a professional relationship. He designed her iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s little black dress.

1956 French Haute Couture

Although today’s celebrities continue to wear designer labels and vintage jewelry to film premiers and awards ceremonies, the average person would not choose fifties fashion or vintage hairstyles for everyday wear. Yet, there remains a fascination with the enchantment of the fifties era.

Take a peek through all of the vintage couture pages and let us know which designer is your favorite.

Vintage Couture Pinboard


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