Flying in the face of continuity, logic, and erudite sociological predictions, fashion in the 1950s, far from being revolutionary and progressive, bore strong nostalgic echoes of the past. A whole society which, in the 1920s and '30s, had greatly believed in progress, was now much more circumspect. Despite the fact that women had the right to vote, to work, and to drive their own cars, they chose to wear dresses made of opulent materials, with corseted waists and swirling skirts to mid-calf. As fashion looked to the past, haute couture experienced something of a revival and spawned a myriad of star designers who profited hugely from the rapid growth of the media.

Evening gown designed by Charles James The popular full-skirted style of the Fifties Marilyn Monroe in a promotional still from 1953 Dior suit - 1950s
Fashion - 1952 Ladies Fashion - 1950s Evening Dresses - 1950s Fashion - 1950s