TARTAN FASHION - THE FABULOUS FIFTIES

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See below for a collection of vintage images showing the influence of Scottish tartan patterns on the fashionable set in this period.

Christian Dior's "New Look" of 1947 continued to influence the fashions of the 1950s. Unpadded, rounded shoulders, shapely bust lines, closely-defined waistlines, and fully, billowy skirts defined the new, more feminine wardrobe. Blouses, jeans, and long, narrow skirts were also quite popular. ​ The success of the MGM 1954 film Brigadoon generated an interest in tartan and plaid patterns in dresses and leisure wear.

The Collection

1950s

1950s

Jane Fonda in her early modeling days, all in green and brown.

1952

1952

Revisit the Faboulous Fifties with a Jacques Fath 1952 evening gown of pied-de-poule (houndstooth check) and tartan taffeta. Note also the tuxedo collar to go with the white gloves. Jacques Fath (6 September 1912 in Maisons-Laffitte, France – 13 November 1954 in Paris, France) was a French fashion designer who was considered one of the three dominant influences on postwar haute couture, the others being Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain. Photo by Willy Maywald

1952

1952

The late Grafin Celia Von Bismarck, she wears a Winter 1952 coat gown.

1953

1953

"She Knows Botany" - Moordale Junior Suits / Botany 1953 - love the sash and brooch!

1954

1954

Barbara Mullen wearing a Greta Plattry design at the height of the "Brigadoon" craze. Photo by Richard Avedon

1954

1954

Barbara Mullen wearing a Greta Plattry design at the height of the "Brigadoon" craze. Photo by Richard Avedon

1956

1956

1956 Jacques Heim dress - a casual but formal look, red cap, white gloves, with the full skirt of the post-war "New Look" and its use of volume in fabric yardage. Jacques Heim was a French fashion designer and costume designer for theater and film. The late 1950s were a particularly strong period for use of tartan in both haute couture and read-to-wear clothing.

1957

1957

Joanna McCormick, January, 1957, modeling a tartan "playsuit" and remarkable hat in the Virgin Islands for American Vogue! Photo by Richard Rutledge

1958

1958

For an elegant evening out - 1958 Henry Clark photo for Vogue - Corbis red tartan coat over evening gown.

1959

1959

Outshine your frenemies at the country club Christmas party with a buffalo plaid in the Rob Roy tartan! 1959 Sears Catalogue