“There are no full stops at the beginning and end of each decade,” says Sue O’Donoghue, Theatrical and Costume Curator at Goodwood. “They all run into each other. The most popular look of the 1950s was inspired by Dior’s New Look, which was actually launched in 1947.” The nipped-in waist and full-skirted silhouette took advantage of the end of rationing: the full circular skirts used an excessive amount of fabric and were held in place by many layers of frilled petticoats of stiffened nylon. Sometimes these petticoats contained upwards of twelve metres of nylon net. Sue explains, “Dior said, ‘There is no fashion without structure,’ so that is absolutely key.”
Your guide to 1950s Revival fashion
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