I’ve sold quite a few R&K Originals over the years and currently have a couple dresses in the shop. This dress company’s focus was fashionable and affordable. They started in the 1930s from two business men; Henry Kalman and David Rosenthal and hence were called the Rosenthal and Kalman Dress Corp. In the mid-1940s they shortened the name to R&K Original. In the early days, Pauline Fracchia was the designer behind the label. She brought a feminine elegance to the line which makes them such wonderful vintage collectibles for an affordable fashion brand. In the 1960’s Jonathan Logan purchased the company which aligned the brand with a more youthful look- think more mod-scooter dresses etc. Today the line is still in business and retails at JC Penney. Here is some eye candy and Fall inspiration from the Pauline Fracchia years:
I'm back on my blogging schedule after some major US election woes and computer issues. I'm not sure what the future will bring but it's always important to know your history. With that said, let's get started on this month's Fashionable History installment. In our Lingerie By Decade mini series, we are already at the 1950's. You can find previous decades here.
The 1950's is post WWII with an emphasis on creating a family and being "happy". The hourglass figure is in- ultra feminine looks with nipped in waists. Women are either wearing full or fitted pencil skirts to emphasize their curves. Lingerie sales increase as women have a need to lift, nip in, and shape. Nylon is also more available and this makes lingerie not only more affordable but also more colorful as well.
The pointy cup is still in fashion after starting in the late 1940's. Bullet bras, cone bras, whirlpool bras are still selling. "Sweater Girls" are popular and no one wore this look better than Marilyn Monroe.
Tap pants are replaced by nylon panties with elastic at the waist and around the leg. High waisted full coverage panties look best under slim pencil skirts. Ruffled and more decorated versions are available to wear under full skirts and dresses.
Corselettes, or merry widows as they are starting to be known as, are still being worn as they were in the decade prior. However, the waist is even more nipped in. Two piece sets are also common, in the form of a bra and high waisted "waspie" girdle. This was not a time of comfort but cake is apparently okay if you wear the right under-garments.
The fabric shortage and rationing of the 1940's is over and to make up for it, skirts and dresses are full. Full and frilly circle skirts take up a lot of yardage and to help give those skirts their shape, petticoats and crinolines are worn underneath. Some are soft and with many ruffles and layers, others are made from tulle and stiffer fabrics to aid in the poufy shape. This becomes a whole new item to add to your wardrobe that we haven't seen in ages.
1950s Slips and Nightwear
Elizabeth Taylor in a Cat On a Hot Tin Roof sizzles in her white full slip above. Marilyn Monroe shows off her silk slip below. Worn over shape wear just like in the 1940s slips are not meant to be seen which made these images so alluring.
As mentioned before nylon fabrics are now fully integrated in lingerie manufacturing. With that comes more affordable color choices than previously available and more and more lingerie is sold. Variety in styles is also more evident when it comes to slips and nightwear to suit the individual style and age of the consumer. The modern age of lingerie is born.