Vintage Couture

Our favorite vintage couture designers from the 1950's are responsible for creating gowns for some of the most style conscious Hollywood actresses, fashion models, and socialites of all times.

Return to Glamour

After the moderation and thriftiness of the 1940's, fifties fashion turned toward the glamour women were craving.

Six different fifties' fashion styles in National Bella's Catalog for Fall Winter 1958-1959
National Bella's Catalog Fall Winter 1958-1959

Famous celebrities from the fifties wore gowns designed especially for them by their favorite designer fashion labels. These socialites, celebrities, and actresses often formed lifelong alliances with, allegiance to, and often friendships with top couturiers.

Black skirt, tan jacket on display on dress form for Dior New Look 1947
House of Dior New Look 1947
©Metropolitan Museum

During the fifties, the woman's form was exaggerated with the cinched waistline and full skirt known as the "Dior New Look" while the "Balenciaga Revolution" changed women's silhouettes with his open neck, wide collared, and broad shouldered tunic dress.

Vintage Dior and Balenciaga fashions are frequently seen at award ceremonies today.

Madame Gres' detailed pleated fashions and sculptural designs were called works of art with many of the younger designers quoted as saying they were in awe of her talent.

Closeup photo of the detailing on a cream colored Madame Gres design
Madame Gres 
Pierre Balmain designs were carefully crafted and often featured elaborately beaded and embroidered full skirts. A Balmain creation is a popular favorite for today's celebrity red carpet fashion.

Coco Chanel, best known for the original little black dress, designed for Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, and Ingrid Bergman. She also popularized the costume jewelry that became a fifties fashion staple.

Magazine ad with model in Chanel suit with large dog. 1959 Mademoiselle Ad
Chanel 1959 ad for Mademoiselle

Despite their inauspicious beginning, Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy enjoyed a lifelong friendship as well as a professional relationship. He designed her iconic Breakfast at Tiffany's little black dress.

Although today's celebrities continue to wear designer labels and vintage jewelry to film premiers and awards ceremonies, the average person would not choose fifties fashion or vintage hairstyles for everyday wear. Yet, there remains a fascination with the enchantment of the fifties era.

Take a peek through all of the vintage couture pages and let us know which designer is your favorite.

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