Vintage 50s Fashions: Better Living Through Chemistry

FINNFEMME: Vintage 50s Fashions: Better Living Through ChemistryFINNFEMME: Vintage 50s Fashions: Better Living Through ChemistryAfter WWII, DuPont delved into making ‘Modern-Living Fibers’ such as Nylon, Orlon, Dacron, Rayon and Acetate. Their theme was BETTER THINGS FOR BETTER LIVING…THROUGH CHEMISTRY.

Now dresses could not only be rich and beautiful, but practical too. The fabric blends lent themselves to be drapable and packable. It’s interesting to note that only natural fibers were used up to this point, so it really must have been quite revolutionary.

This two-page full-spread ad is from the August 15, 1953 issue of Vogue magazine. The dress on the left is designed by Philip Hulitar and is a lacy tweed blended or nylon, rayon and acetate. The dress on the right is designed by Ceil Chapman. It is in a rich, clinging crepe of Orlon in wonderful after-dark colors.

We take all these fabrics for granted now – but I am glad that we still have options, along with the natural classics of cotton, wool and silk.


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