1950s Fashion: Marilyn Monroe, James Dean And Teddy Boys

1950s Fashion: Marilyn Monroe, James Dean And Teddy Boys

1950s style included feminine and romantic silhouettes - full circle skirts, fitted pencil skirts and A-line shapes - that marked women's return to home and hearth after the war years. Fashion designers who dominated the scene in the 1950s included Dior, Balenciaga (credited with designing the popular chemise and sheath dresses of the period), Chanel (who created her signature slim suit in the 1950s) and Hubert de Givenchy, who designed the ladylike, polished clothes Audrey Hepburn would make famous.

It was also influenced by glamour girls like Marilyn Monroe, the wholesome styles of Doris Day and Sandra Dee, and the sexier pin-up influences of the likes of Bettie Page in her frilly, halter-necked bikinis.

The 1950s is also saw the emergence of the teen subculture. Influenced by rockabilly music and stars like Elvis, pompadour hair, oversized blazers, leather jackets and Hawaiian shirts were copied by men around the globe. Marlon Brando and James Dean also influenced men's fashion with their basic - and timeless - uniform of T-shirt and jeans.

In Britain, Teddy Boys had an instantly recognisable style inspired by dandy dressing; they wore Edwardian-style, tailor-made clothes paired with brothel creepers and chunky brogues.

By Brogan Driscoll & Jen Barton


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