Thin waists, corsets, defined hips and full petticoats; that was the fashion trend that came with the 50’s. After the second World War, style clothing became an important part of culture in the 1950’s; fashion was one way of showcasing one’s place in society, and it became a way to express conformity and individual identity.
Fast forward to 2016, I still seem to be stuck in the 1950’s fashion era; the short version of ball gowns, the gloves and the cat eyes sunglasses have always been my fashion signature ever since I started sewing my own clothes! The moment I laid my eyes on this flowery fabric in a fabric shop in Mombasa, I knew immediately I was going to make a vintage dress out of it.
Something about the bright red flowers had a way of taking me back to the 50’s era, of jazzy tunes, hats and fascinators. I intended to design this dress for my sister for a high tea event last weekend, but somehow I couldn’t part with it after I finished sewing it!
Vintage fashion has a way of creating an illusion of full hips and a tiny waist, especially if you’re petite, hence why it has always been one of my signature designs. That doesn’t mean if you’re curvy, you can’t get away with vintage dresses; on the contrary vintage dresses cinch your waist well, giving you a lovely hourglass figure!
When I was designing this dress, I didn’t quite know how the end result was going to look like, I kept sewing it and trying it on, and decided to play around with the hems and make it a bit short on the front and long on the sides, to give it a more swooshy(yes that’s a word) feel. I decided to make the bottom part really full, by adding a stiff net petticoat underneath to give it that real vintage effect, and a bit of lace on the upper part of the bodice!
So whether you love the Audrey Hepburn hourglass silhouette fitted retro fashion, or the Doris Day,full vintage wear, there’s something about vintage dresses that always have a way of bringing out the retro in you!