Rare photos of the 1954 Paris Fall Collection opening –
Paris in the late summer of 1954 was about as glamorous as it could ever have been, with the like of Dior, Givenchy, Fath, Balenciaga and Balmain all vying for attention. And Life Magazine’s Mark Shaw was there to capture the elite designers and their even more elite customers in their annual flurry of excitement. This exuberant photographer is best remembered for his candid photograph style – in particular the family scenes of John F and Jackie Kennedy some years later.
The average price of a gown at $800 and upwards was beyond any normal mortals pocket, but these photographs heralded the soon to be expected ‘less expensive copies’ that would be appearing from October onward in US department stores.
Since Dior had ceremoniously hiked hemlines the previous year, with flat chests causing worrisome rumours that this years collection would see a complete return to the flapper era of the 1920s by other designers.
However what these candid shots revealed were to be a popular silhouette – revealing a smaller, lifted bosom, longer body and newly emphasised hips, producing an extremely feminine sexy figure. Fath, Balenciaga, Balmain and Givenchy – the other members of the Paris Big Five, showed rich collections.
Visit the official archive of Mark Shaw for stunning high resolution photographs.
That’s all !
Photographs ©Mark Shaw