The fifties redux rocks

Fifties fashion innovated bold shapes and womanly templates.

Front cover of Tatler, featuring design by Sigrid Hunt, 5 May 1954.

The olive-coloured, gravy-scented 1940s and 50s fashion nostalgia moment has proved to be more than a transient backlash to Sienna’s Boho Summer of Shame 2005; this season it’s as strong as ever. If you ain’t knitting your own gargantuan Gilesian scarf to match this Hermes Land Girls suit (perfect for the allotment; your jam must be hedgerow not Whole Foods), you just ain’t a lady a la mode.

The 50s chic/60s cheek exhibition at Limerick’s Hunt Museum reinforces that, for all the coltish sixties children in crimplene capes, fifties fashion innovated bold shapes and womanly templates (the early Balenciaga on show shines with prescient brilliance) which make girls feel, quite simply, dressed.

And despite my inevitable mooning over the painfully, iconically romantic Avedon, Parkinson and Klein photographs on show, I was really drawn to Sigrid Hunt’s agile, crisp fashion sketches, which looked startlingly modern and fresh. With last week’s blog post on my mind, I had the delightful opporunity of luxuriating in my own inestimable rightness. Fashion illustration: the new new- old thing? Could be, colonel, could be.

Hoorah for fifties nostalgia, unhampered by the realities of sexism, conservatism and drudge! Sardines and tapioca for tea!

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