Below are some photos of glamorous holiday evening gowns from a fashion spread in the December 1951 issue of Ladie’s Home Journal. What I wouldn’t give to have a closet full of these!
The accompanying text for the article was written by Wilhela Cushman,who was fashion editor of the Journal for 25 years.
“Time to be feminine, to look the way men like to see you-in a drift of tulle, in lacy cotton over taffeta, in a column of satin with a trailing panel. Your shoulders are bare, your waistline bracelet-size, your skirts ruffled and puffed, fan pleated, side draped. You’ll wear opal colors-especially mauve, violet and blue. Your slippers will be jewel colored velvet and you’ll twine rhinestones or pearls round your arms and in your hair.”
Did you catch the part about the “bracelet sized waist”? Now you know why so many dresses from that era have such small waistlines. The hourglass shape was the height of fashion, and women laced themselves into corsets and waistcinchers to create that extremely curvy look.
First up is a frothy pink confection by Ceil Chapman. Reminds me of cotton candy! And how about that silver Christmas tree with the pink roses on it? Swoon!
This next festive frock is an emerald green satin column gown with floating panel by Wilson Folmar. Dresses with his label are sought after among savvy vintage clothing collectors. He designed very stylish, higher end cocktail and evening wear.
Another smashing gown by Ceil Chapman in embroidered organdy over taffeta, accompanied by a gold taffeta coat.
This violet beauty is a Mark Mooring creation. He was a designer for Bergdorf Goodman and also a Coty Fashion Critics Award winner.
Dresses with his label are scarcer than hen’s teeth. So if you ever run across one, consider it the equivalent of hitting the lottery!