1950s & ’60s
Fashion inspiration oscillated between the old-world European glamour of Dior and the US, where the movie star aesthetic mixed with the racy rock’n’roll era. The cinched waists of the full skirts required a tiny waist, so beneath their clothes women were once again wearing “girdles”.
“Miracle fabrics” like synthetic nylon and elastic made clothes cheaper and easier to maintain. They could be washed and dried easily, didn’t need to be ironed and didn’t shrink. In 1957 Hubert de Givenchy unveiled his “sack dress”, paving the way for 1960s tunic dresses (right).