Monday, December 27, 2010

Bags 1950s ( history of fashion )

It was in the restrained and formal setting of the grand salon of No 30 avenue Montaigne in Paris,that a couture collection apperead and in a single showing,changed the shape of fashion for a decade and defined the dominance of the city as the elite of the post war fashion industry.
When Chistian Dior unveiled his "Corolle" line in 1947(named by the petals of a flower),lated dubbed by the journalists as the "New Look",it entered the annals of fashion as a defining moment.
Dior's "New Look" presented a nostalgic form of feminity and was a celebration of luxury.
Huge crinoline calf-length skirts were supported by layers of stiffened petticoats that used up to 23 metres (75 feet) of material.
As Dior himself remarked "no one person can change fashion a big fashion change imposes itself".It was because women wanted to look like women again that they adopted New Look.


The turn of the decade was an era when the fashion consumer was in thrall to the dictates of couturiers such as Christian Dior,Jaques Fath,Cristobal Balenciaga,Pierre Balmain and Hubert de Givenchy.Manufacturers legitimately copied what was on the catwalk by purchasing the rights to individual garments,bying the toile (a calico version of the piece) and they woulb be able to copy it stich for stich in cheaper materials,fo the ready to wear market.
The new fashion and women's magazines reorted the latest designs,and were keen to offer instructions on how these garments should be accessorized.Good grooming was paramount, hair had to be perfectly coiffed,wearing a costume and a total harmony of hat,gloves and handbang.
These manners and the New Look of Dior,reminds us the attitude and social of the Victorian times.
Women now were encouraged to give up theit autonomy and return to the confines of the home.
As 1950s was a period that made possible as handbags became increasingly affortable,an important number of specialist stores and handbag companies, made tha variety of handbags availiable to all.
Bags became cheaper with the increase in post war mass production and the introduction of the new plastics,including vinyl (which could wiped clean,giving a more practical face to lighter pastel shades,and it's shiny surface lent itshelf to the almost futuristic streamlined shapes,that appeared at the end of the decade.
A woman in fashion had a wardrobe of bags that might include a pingskin framed box handbag to wear with tweeds,a framed balloon style bag in leather with short handles for daywear and for eveningwear an elongated envelope clutch.
The envelope bag went well with the long,lean linew of the Parisian couturier Jacque Fath,were evening bags generally considered at their smartest in black satin or suede.
More expensive evening bags had frames of gold,decorated with diamonds,but for more formal occasions,a small coctail bag of silver or gold brocade,kidskin or embroidered silk would be required to complement the rapier slim silk sheath dress.
The "wedding bags"made in white satin or silk,heavilly embellished with Beauvais beadwork,involving a tiny chain stitch and equally tiny alabaster beads in a floral design,giving a more "retro" look
The decorum of the 1950s allowed no leeway for the idiosyncratic and matched sets of shoes and handbags were an indication of perfect grooming.

A luxurious evening bag in cream silk,heavily embroidered by the Britsh company H Wald & Co known as "sweethurt purses"

Model Anne Saint Marie for Balenciaga.

 Model Anne Saint Marie for Jacque Fath.


Hollywood adopted Dior's New Look as it's own and called in "sweeetherat line" and had perticular longevity in the cinema where its popularity was prolonged by the contume designers Edith Head and Helen Rose.Head was worked on all Hitchcock' films (Rear window in 1954) remarked on Grace Kelly's faultless figure and carriage that needed none of the designer's constumary disquises,were the Hollywood version of Christian's Dior's 1947 collection,showed off the actress's perfect figure (when at the first appearence at Rear window shows her framed in a doorway,wearing a dress "right off the Paris plane",were the skirt is wider than the doorway through which she steps.The acress is carrying an overnight case that has been especially created for the film by Max Holzman for the Mark Cross Company.


This was not the only bag that became famous by association with the elegant star.During Filming "Catch a thief 1955" directed by Hitckcock,Kelly met her future husband Prince Rainier of Monaco and were married in 1956.Kelly became pregnant at the same year and appeared on the cover of American Time magazine hiding her pregnancy with a classic Hermes bag which after became known as Kelly bag.


Hollywood's most celebrated film stars were Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Tayleor,both voluptuous and brimming with sex appeal in waspwaisted dresses that emphasized their provocative appeal.Audrey Heburn offered an alternative to these stereotypical screen goddesses and was to influence a whole generation of women including Jackie Kennedy.Heburn embodied the appeal of a new decade.Although Hubert de Givenchy,an aristocratic French born couturier,first open his salon in 1952,Heburn's adoption of his chemise line heralded the approach of 1960s minimalism (the body skimming and simple line was the first innovation to come out of Paris since Dior's New Loon in 1947).Givenchy streamlined suits of solid blocks of bright colour,caught by a single button or fold of fabric,epitomized a clean cut,unfussy glamour that necessitated a clean,streamlined handbag,hence the arrival of clutch bag.Breakfast at Tiffany's,made in 1961,conveys the difference between the decades in the fashion espoused by the two female leads.

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

This sort sleeved sheath dress and bag date from 1955 and create an elegant and seamless look.



Iconic handbags brands such as Prada and Fendi became household names during the period between 1945 and 1965,when Italy began to develop a design industry that was to influence the world.During the period made in Italy came to mean good design and superior craftsmanship,precepts which held true thoughout the following decades.The origins of these companies that went on to produce "it" bags,during the later decade of 20th century,had their provenance in the years before First World War as saddle makers and leather and luggage suppliers including Gucci (1906) and Prada (1913).
Design innovation flourished Salvadore Ferragamo invented the stiletto heel,Emilio Pucci started his fashion empire and the Fendi family developed their fur and leather business.
The son of Gucci,produced the bamboo handled handbag in 1957,a response to the post war shortage of leather.Gucci bag became known as Jackie bag,after Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (alongside the Chanel 2.55 and Hermes Kelly bag),and the scarcity  of leather led the Gucci company to develop their trademark red and green striped webbing,which was derived from the saddle girth,and the print their distinctive double G motif on canvas.They also bedecked the front of their iconic suede moccasin loafer with a miniature horse's snaffle.These were the signature elements that defined the label for the next three decades,until the American designer Tom Ford was invited to rebrand the company in 1992.

bambbo handled handbag Gucci

 Vintage Gucci speedy bag, with signature double 'G' logo and trademark red and green striped webbing.

Emilio Pucci entered fashion scene 1955,r:11,s:52&biw=1437&bih=590,r:5,s:0,r:4,s:0&tx=56&ty=65,r:1,s:0,r:1,s:0

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