I recently added this May 55 issue of Ladies Home Journal to my ever expanding vintage magazine collection. I can’t seem to control myself! And though LHJ wasn’t the “high fashion” magazine that Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar were, their fashion editor, Wilhela Cushman certainly did an amazing job with her editorial spreads, often working with some of the most well known fashion photographers and models of the day. She also promoted many American fashion designers by featuring their clothing in her fashion articles. It’s a great way for me to discover lesser known labels that I can be on the lookout for on my vintage clothing searches!
In this particular issue one of the fashion editorials covers celebrity fashion. Just like today, women were interested in seeing famous people dressed in the latest trends.
This article is titled “Bright Young Stars” and shows up and coming starlets in pretty summer dresses.
Some of the names you will definitely recognize.
Left-Italian born Pier Angeli won a Golden Globe Award in 1951 for her starring role in the film Teresa. She is wearing a black pique dress with white organdy jacket by Sam Friedlander.
Center– Janice Rule played many roles, one of which was the rival for James Stewart’s affections against the famous Kim Novack who was the witch in Bell, Book and Candle. Here she is wearing a full pleated paisley dress by Morgan Fauth.
Right- And here’s the charming Debbie Reynolds in an adorable pink gingham dress trimmed in black lace by Mr. Sidney.
Anne Francis was starring in Blackboard Jungle at the time of this shoot. She is wearing a flower print organza hostess dress by Christian Dior, New York.
Here’s the very young Julie Andrews in a long white lounging coat by Robert Rosenfeld. Love the fabulous red polka dot scarf tied at the neck. (Note to self on new way to wear a scarf!)
Lois Smith made her film debut in Elia Kazan’s East of Eden when this photo of her was taken. She is a talented, versatile actress who has had a long career in film, theater and television. Recently she even played Sookie Stackhouse’s grandmother in True Blood!
And here she is in 1955 looking stunning in a polka dot organza shirtwaist dress by Rappi.
Elsewhere in the magazine I found this ad for McKettrick dresses and I fell instantly in love! I’m now on the lookout for a cute black and white gingham check dress to wear. The red hat and snazzy convertible are the perfect accessories!
Red and white striped pique dress with sweet collar. By Nornie for Lanz. I do believe the name refers to Nornie and Werner Scharff who owned the Lanz of California clothing company in the 50s. Nornie was the chief designer of the line.
And how cute is the red bucket purse? Would love to find a similar one for summer!
Here’s a handsome color coordinated couple out grocery shopping. She’s wearing a chambray pleated dress with a striped bodice by Kaspar. White straw bag and shell bracelet. This outfit is a pretty preppy look perfect for a day of shopping in Palm Beach or Nantucket!
And take a look at the guy’s feet. I do believe he’s wearing a pair of slippers with socks, a look I actually see quite a bit down here in Florida, especially on young men. Next time I see my stepson I’m going to show him this picture to let him know his trendy look actually goes waaaaay back!
Can never go wrong with polka dots for summer. Truly timeless. Black and white dot dress by Ben Barrack. Accompanied by cute black straw bag ( Another purse I’ll be on the lookout for!) and yellow hat by Lilly Dache.
And here’s an ad for one of the hot lipstick shades of the season, Slightly Scarlet by Cutex. The gorgeous dress on the model is inspired by a Carolyn Schnurer design. Ms Schnurer was a pioneer in the American sportswear industry.
And dig the red Thunderbird!
Keds still makes casual shoes today and they’ve even got some really cute styles. But back in the day they had a special line of shoes for women called Kedettes, many styles I wish they would bring back! I particularly like the strappy “capri shell” and the “gay espadrille.”
I’m sure you’ve heard of Red Cross shoes. They were owned by the largest shoe company in the US who also owned Cobbie Shoes. If you’re interested in fashion industry history there are some really interesting facts about the company here.
Though I love all the styles pictured below, my favs are the two straw sandal styles. There were lots of shoes made with woven straw in the 50s. I own a couple of pair and they are super cute, super comfortable and look great with summer dresses.
So that’s my fashion trend flashback for this month. Hope you enjoyed!