Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Nineteen-year-old English beauty dances with the Sadler's Wells Ballet. She is wearing a full-length ball gown typical of young women of means in the fifties. This one in grey clouds of rayon net with lushly trimmed grey rayon taffeta by Rappi. It sold for sixty dollars.

This is the new era of man-made fibers. Rayon, originally known as "artificial silk," was the first of the manufactured fibers to be introduced. 

Photographed by Norman Parkinson at the Metropolitan Museum by Norman Parkinson under Sargent's "The Wyndham Sisters


Eighteen-year-old beauty in this year's Debutante Cotillion. She wears white nylon tulle by Ceil Chapman. The long white gloves, by Debutante Cotillion sponsor,Kayser. 

Clouds of yellow rayon net; a butterfly  bow at the back; bare shoulders. A ball dress every bit the ball dress that a long one is. This year the length is short, like this. By Emily Wilkins

Clouds of white - a ball dress in The Tradition; a dress to make a beauty - or the reputation of a beauty. White nylon net sprinkled with bugle beads; by Rappi.

Above the clouds, bare shoulders. Left, white rayon net, petalled bodice of gleaming silvery lace trailing into the skirt. Centre, a silky cloud in pale tints of yellow, rose, and blue. Silk organdie over cotton sateen by Emily Wilkins. Right, grey nylon marquisette filigreed with silver by Rosette Pennington

It will dance at the prettiest parties this Christmas - the short balldress in a cloudburst of pleats in white rayon net. The bodice, pale blue rayon taffeta sewn with glitter. By J.L.F.

The Young, In The Clouds
Vogue December 1950
Photography: Horst

The setting for the most beautiful party London has seen in years: General Sir John and Lady Marriott's ball; here, the ballroom, built from the courtyards of three adjoining houses.

By Oliver Messel, England's great theatrical designer.
Vogue December 1950
Photography: Mandinian

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