Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Magazine Monday – 1950 Woman’s Journal & evening dresses

As this is my first real Magazine Monday post with a vintage magazine, I thought I’d start at the beginning of 50s, with the January 1950 edition  of the Women’s Journal. 


The Women’s journal was published in England, and sold also in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. It was aimed at middle-class women and was less about knitting patterns and baking cakes and more about lifestyle. It ceased publication  in 2001.

The magazine starts with 11 pages of ads, many for corsets, and I think they are fascinating.  Here are a few:

PA170019   PA170020 

 PA170021     PA170023Who knew the Ovaltine factory was in the middle of an English country garden?!

And here is my favourite of course, the  latest Paris fashion spread.


PA170025For the dress on the left the text reads, “ For dining or dancing, you choose this double-life dress from Jean Dessés' .  The model is of soft grey velvet with a dramatic, longer overskirt in grey chenille-spotted tulle – to wear or not according to the occasion.” 

The centre dress is “for the important, non-dress evening engagement, by Maggy Rouff, in caramel beige faille with an immense bow of aquamarine blue faille.”

The dress on the right is “for a conversational meeting with smart friends, by Pierre Balmain, in fine wool jersey in two shades of grey.”

Below is model Bettina Graziani in 1950 in another evening dress by Jean Desses.


This is more like the dress below on the left, “Marcel Rocha’s white, sheath-like satin,  twinkling with small ruby an emerald motifs sprayed across the to, and worn with a full-length shawl stole of the satin.”

The dress on the right is another Dessés' gown “in beaver brown face-cloth with the subtle glint of iridescent sequins sparingly scattered.” In 1951 Vogue termed Dessés' chiffon gowns as the "Fords" of his collection and "good for a lifetime." By 1958 they were termed "classic."  Read more about Dessés' here.


Below left is another Marcel Rochas Dress, an Emerald Velvet Gown of 1950/51, described as, “
a slender mermaid silhouette with squared bias godet center rear hem, strapless bodice with extravagant iridescent green silk taffeta stole affixed at left, draped across bust to free fall through self knot and down right, a pair of pinch pleats at waistline, emerald green silk faille lining, matching velvet formal gloves, size 4.”  It sold at auction in 2004 to a New York bidder for $3,300.

The dress on the right is also Marcel Rochas from 1950 (Vogue Sept 15) and is a true mermaid silhouette.

emerald mermaid

Marcel Rochas was the first designer of 2/3-length coats and skirts with pockets, and the house of  Rochas was also known for its signature perfume, "Femme," which was packaged in a pink box with black lace. The two pictures below left are original 1950 magazine ads for ‘Femme’, and the one on the right is a modern ad. 

femme  femme 2   femme 3

Ah, if only we had smellavision!

Have a lovely vintage day,

Deb xx

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