The 1950s was the first decade when American fashion became truly American. The United States had always relied on Europe for its style leads, but during World War II, when necessity became the mother of invention, the country had to find its own way. American designers looked to what American women needed and found new inspirations for American fashion design. Sportswear became a strength, but not at the expense of elegance. Easy wear materials were borrowed for producing more formal clothes, and versatile separates and adaptable dress and jacket suits became hallmarks of American style. This book follows the American fashion industry, from New York's 7th Avenue to the beaches of California in search of the clothes that designed 1950s American fashion.
Jonathan Walford is the artistic director of and was the founding curator for the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto and the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. His books include Forties Fashion and Shoes A-Z. As a curator and a collector, Mr. Walford owns about 700 pairs of shoes dating from the 17th century to the present, with a focus on women's shoes from the 1920s to the 1970s.