Fashion Flashback- Paris Spring Style Trends in 1953

dior silk floral dress mar 1953

When I browse through high fashion magazines,  I’m often looking at clothing that I can’t envision myself, or many other women, wearing.  I get that high fashion is a lot about showcasing a designer’s skills and creativity, to inspire a trend and/or to be intentionally provocative for an editorial shoot . And I  certainly appreciate the artistic, thought provoking aspects of all of that. Some of my favorite photos are in 1960s magazines showcasing the futuristic fashions of designers like Courreges, Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin .  Many of the outfits featured even back then were also way too avant garde and expensive for the average woman. But they are certainly delightful to look at.

So when it comes to admiring more realistic looking fashion I have to admit my favorite era for editorial eye candy has to be the the 1950s.  When I look at these outfits I can actually picture the clothing on real women, not just models.  Yes, even women who don’t have a 22″ waist! They have such a timeless quality to them you can imagine they would look just as stylish today as back then.

These Vogue Magazine photos by Henry Clarke feature what the spring trends were that came out of Paris in 1953 and all were available in better department stores like Henri Bendel, I. Magnin, and Marshall Fields.


Top- Dior’s English garden floral print silk dress with matching coat.

Below- Balenciaga  tulip print dress with black dropped waist belt.


balenciaga dress 1953

Tortoiseshell print short jacket with white linen skirt (left)
Pimento print dress with white linen cropped jacket.(right)

Both by Audrey’s fav designer, Givenchy

givenchy outfits spring 1953

Black, White and Polka Dots

Jacque Fath dotted swiss ball gown laced with black satin ribbon

jacques fath gown 1953

Griffe’s dalmation dot empire chiffon gown.
Long necklace stole in geranium. (love the term “Necklace stole”)

Griffe dotted dress March 1953

Looser Fitting Jackets

Lanvin Castillo black and white cotton printed suit with velvet collar.

lanvin castillo suit 1953

Balenciaga black and white dotted cotton sleeveless “balloon” jacket worn
over a black wool dress.

balenciaga 1953


Patou’s silk and alpaca dress has unusual broken pleating on the front.
Love the jewels on both sides of the neckline.

patou dress 1953

High Waists and Dior’s Tulip Line

Convinced womens’ bodies should be silhouetted, Dior created his
“Tulip” line.  Much more form fitting and/or closer to the
body than his “New Look” designs.

High waistlines. as on the dress below, was another trend seen on many
of the designer fashions of 1953.

Draped gray crepe alpaca dress by Dior.

dior dress spring 1953

Charcoal grey flannel dress with white pique collar and boxy jacket by Dior.
Note the bust pocket holding a handkerchief.

dior- gray flannel dress march 1953

Dior’s silk organdy cocktail dress, cut in a slimmer silhouette  in the front and deeply pleated in back.
Love the neckline on this one and the jewelled bowknot at the waist with dangling crystal flowers.

Interesting Skirts on Evening Dresses

A  chiffon dress with “curly” tiered petal skirt by Jean Desses.

jean desses dress march 1953

Dior’s black and white silk organdy “Mexico” dress with billowing layered skirt.

Dior Mexico evening dress March 1953

Hope you enjoyed my little trip down fashion memory lane!


















By | 2017-03-27T08:23:39-04:00 March 27th, 2017|Fashion|6 Comments

About the Author:

Hi, I'm Theresa, owner and chief classy dame at the Blue Velvet Vintage online boutique. Lover of mid century fashion and home decor, classic films, Old Hollywood, pretty dresses, red lipstick, swing dancing and retro culture in general. Between my ecommere site and vintage style blog my mission is to revive the eras of classy dressing and inspire women to add more glamour to their lives! So don't be shy! I love to hear from others who share my appreciation of the styles of the past.


  1. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell April 5, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Yes, the matching dress/coat thing is a great look. I’ve also seen 50s dresses with matching print umbrellas! Adorable.

  2. Avatar
    Jill April 5, 2017 at 9:55 am

    I really like how they made floral print dresses with matching coats. You don’t see that now. And that gown with the big bows. Wow.

  3. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell March 29, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Yes, the Jean Desses dress is stunning. Based on your fab outfit posts it’s no secret you’re a mod/bohemian kinda gal. So even though the 50s isn’t your fav era for clothing, it’s nice that you can appreciate the design details from other periods 🙂

  4. Avatar
    Vix March 29, 2017 at 4:55 am

    That Jean Desses dress is fabulous! To be honest I’m never been attracted to 1950s clothing, but your choices are fabulous. xxx

  5. Theresa Campbell
    Theresa Campbell March 27, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Yes, that gown is amazing. And, yes those waists are crazy small. I don’t think my waist was ever that tiny, even when I was born!

  6. Avatar
    Suzanne March 27, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Oh that polkadot gown made me gasp.

    And looking at their waists made me feel hungry. They were impossibly small.


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