Blogger Jo-ann Fortune looks at the undying appeal of the ‘New Look’ in the latest issue of Vintage Explorer Magazine. You can read some of my personal opinions regarding 1950’s fashion and a whole host of fifties related features in this months issue. Jo’s article explores fashions love of the 1950s stemming from the late 1940s ‘New Look’ by Christian Dior, who put women back in full skirts and celebrated the female silhouette. The article is bursting with history and how fashions of the past are being translated into modern day clothing design. This is a subject I could rabbit on about for hours! I’ve included a couple of Jo’s interview questions and my answers in this post. I’d love to hear your opinions, thoughts and responses to some of these questions.
Q: Which are your favourite designers from this era?
Hands down Ceil Chapman is my all time favourite designer from this period. I was introduced to Ceil Chapman’s work by the fabulous Marcus over at Palette Vintage, London. Marcus has an excellent eye for dresses of this era and leant me some frocks for a shoot. Ceil Chapman was known for being Hollywood’s go-to gal for a cocktail dress or knock out frock and famous for being Marilyn Monroe’s favourite designer. Chapman also designed Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding dress when she married Conrad “Nicky” Hilton. Chapman was among those who succeeded in adapting Christian Dior’s “New Look” for relatively affordable cocktail wear targeted toward the American ready-to-wear market. Chapman worked at 530 Seventh Avenue in New York’s garment district during the 1950s. Some of Chapman’s designs are now housed in the collection at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Each style is iconic, feminine, flattering, drapes beautifully and her prints are incredible!
Q: Where do you wear your vintage dresses and with what?
I wear vintage a lot of the time to work, day to day, at the weekend relaxing. I usually team vintage pieces with new. So even if I’m running around in my capri pants and a shirt I most likely have a vintage headscarf on.
Q: Who are your vintage style icons?
Rita Haywortth is a real inspiration to me, she’s always smiling and looks comfortable, stylish and elegant. Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard is a real icon, she’s got that all important element of crazy mixed with absolute decadence that I just love.
The Fabulous Times