Friday, July 24, 2009

24 July 1955 “Fashion, Poetry, and Music”

dior summer 55 I believe I have shown this image before. It is Dior’s Summer 1955 look. You can see it is the beginning of the turn away from the New Look. The skirt is shorter and the cut and fabric is more severe and of men's wear suiting. It is said, this is the where the later 60’s A-line silhouette began.

When I looked at this image again today, having not seen it since back in the beginning of my project, I really felt differently toward it. Back then, in the heightened excitement of the project, the 1950s was all frills and petticoats and fluff. I saw it then, but somehow did not really see it as I now do. It is very modern looking to me now and it has stirred something in me. It has made me feel the need to ‘reach out to the future’ that the inevitability of living in the past will surely do. I am not going to fly back into the 21st century tomorrow, but it makes me somehow feel a need to find a way to make the 1950s somehow become more real and modern in 2010. Though, I am still not sure what time I will actually be living in then?

Perhaps my research will be enough and the past will live in my writing and research and ‘home skills’ but the future will be in my fashion? Who can tell?

shoes 55 Here is a great photo from summer 1955 of shoes by Sir Edward Rayne.  A British shoemaker. This shot is of the workers inspecting the details done on shoes prepared by them for the 55 spring/summer collection. What great shoes and the shot is very grounding in that not all were model/magazine perfect in the 1950s any more than they are today, but I do like the hair and casual cloths of the workers, don’t you?

paris review 1955 Here is the Paris Review from Summer 1955. One of the poets in this issue was Louis Simpson. This poem of his from 1955 makes me think of the woman in the poem as the 1950s woman. She has been it all to me for surely, “…when I think of her, and other faces fade”. Here is the poem:

A Woman Too Well Remembered

Having put on new fashions, she demands

New friends. She trades her beauty and her humor

In anybody’s eyes. If diamonds

Were dark, they’d sparkle so. Her aura is

The glance of scandal and the speed of rumor.


One day, as I recall, when we conversed

In kisses, it amused her to transmit

“What hath God wrought!”-the message that was first

Sent under the Atlantic. Nonsense, yet

It pleases me sometimes to think of it.


Noli me tangere was not her sign.

Her pilgrim trembled with the softest awe.

She was the only daughter of a line

That sleeps in poetry and silences.

She might have sat upon the Sphinx’s paw.


Then is she simply false, and falsely fair?

(The promise she would break she never made)

I cannot say, but truly can compare,

For when the stars move like a steady fire

I think of her, and other faces fade.


This is an interesting song that came out this year, 1955, by the Fontane sisters about a seventeen year old girl. Interesting how the teenage concept is becoming an ideal to even sing about. “Sloppy jeans old shirt” sounds like the future is on our heels.


I suppose I should stop with the excuses, as I feel my posts have not been very educational lately, but the task of packing up one house and preparing the new one is taking up more time that I had thought. I do hope all of you will bear with me over the next month as I settle into the new place. We have to be packed up and moved out of here by the 1st of Sept, but my house I am moving to will have summer tenants until the 7th, so we have to put things in storage and then take a week long break.

I will keep posting what I can and you keep commenting. I feel like we need to revive our old discussions. Although, I am sure as it is summer for most you, you are also busy as well. Perhaps the computer does not have the same pull as sunny days and beaches?!


  1. Its so interesting how much has changed. The song says 16 and already kissed and now 16 year olds are having sex. Sad.

  2. I thought I'd come out of 'lurkdom' and say hello. (o:

    I'm not sure how I came across your blog but I have really enjoyed my visits here.--So much so that I've gone back and started at the very beginning. It's been so interesting to me how this has profoundly changed you. I think this can be more easily seen by going back through the archives and reading the posts one right after the other.

    Anyway, just wanted to thank you for sharing your journey through 1955 with all of us.

    Oh and I *love* that Dior suit. That outfit is timeless, so classic and ladylike and chic.


  3. 50's, as I love our little Apron Community!

    Indeed, summer (though I didn't think I would let it) has hit with much yard work, trying to keep the grass with at least some hint of green, gardening, flower beds, grandbabies, and new puppies. And...Of Course...Work. :/

    Thank you for your continuous posts even amongst all of the work you are going through.

  4. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  5. I think that Summer effects my children's schedules much more so than mine.....Laundry, ironing, baking, and marketing seem to be a part of my days no matter the weather :-). If I were moving house as you are 50sGal - it would be a whole different story I assure you! I hope that you are able to have some help from friends to accompany you on that arduous journey. I am watching Season 2 of "Father Knows Best" and in one particular episode a friend of the family's new wife is sloppy and unkempt, while Margret remains lovely - it was a joy to watch!


  6. Thats a wonderful suit and current for today. I could see it being fashion foward, even...or maybe its just that style never goes out

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