How curvy ladies were designed for in Fashion History ….
The commentator of this British Pathe film points out that it’s nice to see women who aren’t entirely sylph like on the catwalk.
You would be forgiven for thinking that fashion of the 1950s was all about slender lines, but Mr Mintz designed ‘Linda Leigh’ for what we’d now call the curvy lady…
Showing the process of designing clothes from sketch book to catwalk Mintz chooses the right fabric then gives it to his workers to cut out and sew up.
Spot the look of concentration on the seamstresses face as she deals with the revers on the dark jacket!
At the end there’s a section looking back 100 years to Victorian and Edwardian fashion where the long skirts and bustles of the era are a contrast to the fashions of the day.
1950s standard measurements
In the 1950s the average woman’s measurements were 36″ bust 24″ waist and 35″ hips. Mannequins or models wore clothes made from patterns with these standard measurements in mind.
The House of Mirelle knew that one size doesn’t fit all
From the 1940s onwards the letters page of Hull newspapers printed complaints that fashion was designed for thin women – not everyone could relate.
Many women couldn’t find fashionable clothes to fit them and bemoaned the lack of choice.
From the early days the House of Mirelle tackled this head on.
Starting in the 1940s and continuing throughout the lifetime of the fashion house they employed mannequins or models with 42 inch hips. They employed older ladies to model clothes too.
In a time when diversity wasn’t represented in couture, Mirelle did their best to include everyone.
Millenial standard sizing
These days women’s measurements have increased considerably – 38″ bust, 34″ waist and 40″ hips.
We’d no longer consider these measurements to be verging on outsize as they were in those days.
Although in the 1950s Linda Leigh was marketed to the lady with 42 inch hips upwards the designs are flattering to any figure, wouldn’t you agree.
© Carrie Henderson 2017