It’s safe to say that the Thread Theory girl isn’t afraid to be girly. And what’s more—she’s in good company. What’s harder to believe, however, is that this look –of flouncy skirts, midi lengths, and whisper-soft pastel hues—was once revolutionary.
What we now know as the look of the 50s actually emerged in 1947, when Christian Dior simultaneously launched his Spring/ Summer show and the look which would go on to define the sartorial zeitgeist of the following decade. His show, inspired by flower petals and the figure ‘8’, featured nipped-in waists and emphasized the hips and bust. At a time when the recently concluded World War II was still fresh on people’s minds, and fashion was struggling free of post-war fabric rationing, Dior unabashedly used up to twenty yards of fabric for his dresses. The “new look”, as then Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief Carmel Snow pronounced it, was unafraid to be glamorous; to put in an effort; to look romantic, and proud of it.
Even today, when the whirlwind of fast fashion whips through the decades, Dior’s new look has a refreshing quality about it. It brings to mind the spring, flower petals drifting down through the wind; it brings to mind delicate whispers and soft music; it brings to mind ballrooms and hand-written letters; brings to mind, in short, the kind of romance and magic we’re pretty short of today.
Perhaps that’s why the look has enjoyed considerable longevity both on the red carpet and sidewalk. And it’s not just for ball-gowns—Allison Williams (below) retained the exaggerated shoulders and bell silhouette at an event for Vogue, but updated it for the times with monochrome, mesh, and a striking red lip.
Photo Credit: Daily Mail
Steal the look with Thread Theory’s Fringed and Fabulous Midi Dress
Or take Emilia Clarke’s sharp nod to the “Bar Suit” (below), one of the designs to premiere in that landmark 1947 collection. Worn without the midi skirt and daringly cut to a mini length, the morning coat becomes a coat-dress, fit for the times while reminiscent of a time long gone.
Photo Credit: Elle UK
Try a more work-appropriate iteration with Thread Theory’s New York? Yes! Trench Dress
The key to the look is tempering the essentials to the occasion. A flouncy lightweight midi dress for lunch in town with the girls; a structured hourglass suit dress for the office. And always, that fairy-tale element that keeps the look revolutionary: a braided up-do here, lace-covered heels there.
Lavish amounts of fabric or a determinedly feminine silhouette may not be as shocking today as they were when they debuted in 1947. But the way you wear it –ladylike, even dreamlike, romance in the face of minimalism and androgyny- can be a quiet statement in itself. A statement that says: I’m a Thread Theory girl. Come and catch me—if you can.