Fashion History from 1950 to 1969


The style of the fifties is unmistakable: jukebox and rock’n’roll, geometric wall papers, tables covered with Formica, foot tubular chairs.

This is the world of young people who are not yet integrated into society that construct their parents. After years of deprivation of the war, the consumer society brings progress and hope. Youth of all Western European countries eagerly welcomes the pleasures lifestyle came from the United States.

In the late fifties, the word “beatnik” begins to emerge based on VINTAGEWILL. While the United States this movement has an intellectual connotation (with the refusal of the “American way of life”), arriving in Europe the word no longer maintains that its dress involvement. The uniform that characterizes the “beatnik” consists of blue jeans and a jacket.

The important fact is that these clothing changes apply equally to men and women. We no longer live in the same way. Youth has become an age class economically and culturally autonomous. She pocket money. The duration of studies has increased and the number of students. In short, the youth appears to be a “social class” with its own aesthetics and lifestyles

Until 1965, fashion innovations are limited and have never attacked the basic concepts based on reason. But in 1965, the largest collection of André Courrèges blown up. According to his analysis, the woman is a working woman, who travels by car, leading an active life. It is therefore essential that his clothes are not bulky and gives him great freedom of movement; so they must bring the action. The modern woman is seen and wants the equal of man. She wants to be more subject, but the subject. She is entitled to express this equality in his clothing. The modern woman intends to reject the store accessories all sexist traditions that have made her a slave. She wants her sexual urges   and desires to be admitted and recognized. It must be able to show her body, the highlight as it is not based on clothing trickery. The success of his collection is immediate worldwide. The “Courreges revolution” color: white. Structured white mini-dresses and flat-heeled boots, white casual suits, evening trousers. White favorite color of designer showcases the character stripped of its models. But the textile industry made decisive progress in the production of this pure white, so hard to get, because the demand is urgent.This has reached the middle classes, contributing thereby to the launch of a style. For if haute couture is perfection, style is first of creative spontaneity, the idea of ​​the rough, the contribution undergoes a new fabric, a new color, a new form. At the crossroads of this evolution Maïmé Arnodin detected a new generation of designers: Gerard Pipart, Christiane Bailly, Michèle Rosier and Emmanuelle Kahn. It is not as foreign to the launch of the house Cacharel. As for Daniel Hechter, he is the inventor of “Babette” style, frock coats and these kind cassock. Some fashion designers have felt the wind and embark on this kind of creation. Pierre Cardin is the first to tackle the ready-to-wear. It will be followed by Yves Saint Laurent. He was responsible for the rebirth of the blazer, the trench coat, cardigan, the pleated skirt and the tuxedo for women.

Advertising Caddy mini moped showing an active woman

The US government has sent 40,000 young people to fight in Vietnam. So to forget the real war, race riots inside, thousands of young people gather. Their motto is “Love and peace”. Brought back long hair in a ponytail, barefoot, with their pace mad magicians, they meet posting a new religion that interweaves either pacifism, Hinduism, alcohol, music and drugs. The hippie movement was born. They are initially than 30,000 but in July 1967 they were 450,000 and very serious “Time” devotes its cover. The hippies are travelers and at the end of 1967, they spread throughout the United States and the world. The movement results in a challenging fashion. Expression of concern, a refusal to be locked into a techno-social system which crushes all personality and whose sole purpose is the material well-being. They reject the accession of the individual system. They refuse to bow in clothing to all established rules for the mode set a dress code that applies to everyone. Fashion is seen as a perpetual lie. Both mobile, refusal of standardization and rejection of false change, will lead the anti-patterns to look for their clothes outside the box. These clothes, wrongly called “hippies”, entered the fashion and had a considerable influence on the way they dress.

2-Costume / Parfum

  • 1951: Advertising for Guerlain perfumes. Poster Cassandra
  • 1953: Yves Saint-Laurent between Dior and became the designer of the house in 1957 and created the trapeze line (without size) and line A (greater size) in 1959
  • 1962 First collection of Yves Saint Laurent
  • 1962 Pierre Cardin designed the department store market
  • 1962 Carriage, first perfume Hermes
  • 1963: Paco Rabanne dresses Audrey Hepburn and is somewhat unexpected in fashion design; it is a reflection of the industrial production of the time and the result of a very futuristic design of clothing: a liberated woman break with the past aesthetic.
  • 1964 The invention of the miniskirt by Mary As Columbia requires lingerie to change: it is really impossible to wear down with too short dresses, at least for women who want to stay decent … The idea of ​​sticking which until then was exclusively worn by the dancers is taken by manufacturers and marketed under the name Mitoufle.

3 – Decors / Displays

  • 1951: Martini Cocktail
  • 1953: Publication of Anjou liqueur: Cointreau
  • 1956: Martini cocktail
  • 1957: Moulinex has advanced the European appliance industry
  • 1957: the photocopier is a revolution for the secretariats
  • 1958: Electric Hot Water by the poster artist Villemot
  • 1962: The mineral water Perrier, poster Raymond Savignac
  • 1965: Put a tiger in your tank (Esso)

4 – Music

  • 1949 : Louis Armstrong (Satchmo : satchel + mouth): « Boogie-woogie on the Saint-Louis Blues ».
  • Maurice Chevlier
  • Guy Béart
  • Léo Ferré
  • Georges Brassens (1952): “The bad reputation”, “Gorilla”.
  • Charles Aznavour: Mama (1963)
  • Juliette Greco
  • Henri Salvador
  • Jacques Brel (1953)
  • Roger Pierre and Jean-Marc Thibault (1954)
  • Elvis Presley : « Heartbreak Hotel », « Hound Dog », « Don’t be cruel », « Love me tender »
  • Sidney Bechet: “Little Flower,” “Maryland”, “Onions,” “Temperamental”, “In the streets of Antibes”
  • Annie Cordy: “Candies, caramels, lollies, chocolates” (1965)
  • Henri Salvador Zorro arrived (1963)
  • Yves Montand : « Syracuse » (1963, d’Henri Salvador)

The year 1959 marked a turning point. Appear singers who sing only for one public, youth, and at the same pace: rock’n’roll imported from the United States and whose idol is Elvis Presley.

  • Eddy Mitchell and the Black Socks “Daniela” (1961 Georges Gavarentz)
  • Johnny Halliday: “Hold the night” (1961 Charles Aznavour)
  • Sylvie Vartan: “The most beautiful to dance” (1961 Charles Aznavour)
  • Petula Clark
  • The Beatles
  • Richard Anthony (1962)
  • The Wildcats (1962)
  • Françoise Hardy (1962)
  • Sheila, “School’s Out” (1962)
  • Claude François: with him, the pop music is polished, brushed French. The kind that is reassuring. His songs were a great success: “Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,” “If I Had a Hammer” …

In 1962 it is now the rule: after each performance where singers takes place, the rooms look like a battlefield. From all sides we blithely copy what happens outraged Atlantic. But the great success of this year remains unquestionably Maurice Chevalier, him again. He sings with black socks, “the Twist of boater.” Lyricist happy decides to go on stage: it is with Claude Nougaro “Jazz and Java”.Another discovery, that of Brigitte Bardot singing “Harley Davidson”.

  • Frank Alamo “My doe” (1963)
  • Antoine: “Elucubrations” (1966)
  • Jacques Dutronc: “And I and I and I” (1966)
  • Joe Dassin: It lead me to what, Whistle on the hill, way dad, Marie-Jeanne, the Bonnot gang (1967)?
  • Boby Lapointe Aragon and Castile (1967)
  • Gilbert Bécaud: “what is important is the Rose” (1967)

5 – Accessories

  • 1950: cartoons are appearing for the first time on television screens in the United States
  • 1951: The beginning of color television
  • 1953: Advertising Simmons mattress
  • 1953: The ballpoint pen revolutionized the habits of writers and schoolchildren …
  • 1955: The Coca-Cola conquers Europe
  • 1955: DS 19 is launched by Citroën
  • 1956: Renault launches frigate
  • 1961: Panhard launches the PL-17
  • 1964: the invisible scotch
  • 1965: the tape recorder tape is no longer a luxury for some
  • 1965: Renault launches the R16
  • 1966: the pocket transistor, the minicassette


  • 1949: Feast day of Jacques Tati
  • 1952: Fanfan la Tulipe of Christian-Jaque with Gérard Philipe
  • 1952: The Little World of Don Camillo with Fernandel and Gino Cervi
  • 1953: The Mr. Hulot’s Holiday by Jacques Tati
  • 1953: The Wages of Fear Henri-Georges Clouzot with Yves Montand and Vera Clouzot (the wife of the filmmaker)
  • 1955: Rebel Without a Cause with James Dean
  • 1953: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Howard Hawks with Marilyn Monroe
  • 1954: Hands Off the Grisbi Jacques Baker with Jean Gabin
  • 1956: And God Created Woman by Roger Vadim with Brigitte Bardot
  • 1956: Ernst Marishka Sissi with Romy Schneider and Karl Heinz Böhm
  • 1957: Bridge on the River Kwai directed by David Lean with Alec Guinness
  • 1960: La dolce vita of Federico Fellini with Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg
  • 1962 Jules et Jim by François Truffaut with Jeanne Moreau
  • 1962 Lawrence of Arabia by David Lean
  • 1963: The Birds   by Alfred Hitchcock
  • 1963: The Leopard by Luchino Visconti with Burt Lancaster
  • 1965: Givago Dr. David Lean with Geraldine Chaplin and Omar Sharif
  • 1965: The castle Life of Jean-Paul Rappeneau with Catherine Deneuve, Mary Marquet, Pierre Brasseur, Philippe Noiret and Henri Garcin
  • 1967: Mike Nicols Laureate with Dustin Hoffman
  • 1 968: 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick


  • 1951: Cycling: Hugo Koblet won the Tour de France
  • 1952: Second yellow jersey for Fausto Coppi
  • 1957: Sputnik 1 orbits the Earth
  • 1957: Frimatic, the first refrigerator of the common market
  • 1959 Vespa: small wonder from Italy
  • 1960: the new franc in circulation between 1 st January
  • 1960: the contraceptive pill is on sale in the US on May 9
  • 1960: Release of the liner France its slipway in Saint-Nazaire
  • 1961: Yuri Gagarin, first man in space
  • 1963: President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas
  • 1964 Marc Chagall painted the ceiling of the Opera Garnier
  • 1965: A Soviet cosmonaut made the first spacewalk
  • 1966: The French leave NATO
  • 1967: Eddy Merckx is world champion
  • 1968: The month barricades shook France
  • 1969: Man on the Moon
  • 1969: The Concorde flew 27 minutes