Put On Your Red Dress

Advise from Bill Blass: "When in doubt wear red."

A sign of power and passion, red makes the wearer feel more sexually appealing. Even a splash of red lipstick will do the trick.

Vintage Ad for Hazel Bishop No Smear Lipstick from Family Circle 1953
Hazel Bishop No-Smear Lipstick
Family Circle 1953 Ad

Fifties women considered their lipstick as much a fashion accessory as their jewelry and hats. Most wore true red lipstick colors with Dorothy Gray's "Cherry Bounce", Lournay's "Bright Red", and Revlon's "Tournament of Roses" a few of the fifties' favorites. Hazel Bishop developed and manufactured the first long-lasting lipstick in 1950.

Of course, their nail polish color matched their lipstick. 

Model trying on multiple pair of shoes in Karen Radkai photo for Harper's Bazaar March 1950
Karen Radkai photo for Harper's Bazaar March 1950
Christian Dior: The real proof of an elegant woman is what is on her feet."
Sophie Malgat in red Balenciaga Evening Gown for Cover of L'Officiel October 1950
Sophie Malgat in Balenciaga Evening Gown
Cover of L'Officiel October 1950
Three dresses on mannequins for Norman Norell Fall/Winter 1954-1955
Norman Norell Design for Traina-Norell
Fall/Winter 1954-1955
©Metropolitan Museum
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard V. Hare

Model in red Jonathan Logan dress designed by Jeanne Carr 1957
Jonathan Logan Designed by Jeanne Carr 1957
My Vintage Vogue
Gene Tierney in red dress for 1950's Ad for Westmore Hollywood Cosmetics
Gene Tierney in 1950's Ad for Westmore Hollywood Cosmetics

Claire McCardell evening dress displayed on mannequin
Claire McCardell for Townley Frocks 1950
©Metropolitan Museum
Gift of Irving Drought Harris
In Memory of Claire McCardell Harris

Edith Head Sketch showing woman in red dress for movie "A Place in the Sun"
Edith Head Sketch for "A Place in the Sun"
©Live Auctioneers

Our final crimson selection is from Bill Blass, an American men's and women's fashion designer who was the  recipient of seven Coty Awards and the 1999 Fashion Institute of Technology's Lifetime Achievement Award. Bill Blass died in 2002. 

Bill Blass sketch of woman wearing a red dress
Bill Blass Sketch
FIT Museum

I am not a flamboyant person but I do enjoy a little red in my wardrobe. If you are not quite comfortable wearing a full out red dress, why not carry that red quilted clutch you have or snap that glossy red bracelet around your wrist. We could start a trend!

Still not sure? Listen to Tommy Tucker's encouragement to put on your red dress from his 1964 blues single "Hi-Heel Sneakers."

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