The New Gamine Style of 1950 | Dorian Leigh

The girl on whom all the clothes are shown is Dorian Leigh, the top New York model since 1944 who has gone through the broad-shouldered era, the corseted new Look, and now embraces the gamine style of 1950.
Dorian Leigh models dresses and suits by Christian Dior, Jacques Fath, Hattie Carnegie, and Pauline Trigère . Photos taken by Life photographer Gjon Mili in March 1950.

The gamine style of 1950. Model Dorian Leigh. Photo-Gjon-Mili
The gamine style of 1950. Model Dorian Leigh. Photo-Gjon-Mili

Dorian Leigh starts with an outfit that embodies the highest style and line points this season. Its toothpick slim sheath gray flannel dress with 16 inch hemline ( left) and top-heavy jacket with chopped off sleeves and big cuffs ( right) worn over it – are being copied in all price ranges. This is the most extreme outline in a spring fashion season that sees some interesting modifications but few radical changes.

Checks and Shirtwaists

The gamine style of 1950. Model Dorian Leigh. Checks and shirtwaists
The big comeback in 1950 – Checks and shirtwaists – photo-Gjon-Mili

The big comeback this year are checks and shirtwaists. The checks now include large bold designs. The shirt waist taken over to Paris by Christian Dior and Jacques Fath, has some definite French accents, most noticeable in in softening full sleeves and bloused tops.

The gamine style of 1950. Model Dorian Leigh
A close up of Hattie Carnegie’s stunning tweed suit, as modeled by Dorian Leigh in 1950. Photo Gjon Mili

Shoes are patent leathers and in shiniest black, made in non-split plastics, which are also used for matching bags, belts, umbrella covers.

Dorian Leigh models the gamine figure of 1950
ABOVE THE WRIST goes the sleeve of this softly tailored checked suit of menswear worsted ( Adele Simpson ). Three-quarter length, it is considered long as spring sleeves go. Gauntlets cover the bare parts of the lower arm
ABOVE THE ELBOW goes the sleeve, the semi-cape of this classic flannel dress-like coat ( Pauline Trigere ). Halfway length glove leaves the mid-arm bare. The outfit can be worn in cooler weather as a coat over a dress.
OVER THE SHOULDER and gone is the sleeve in this sheath. In early spring it is worn with a matching jacket. Later, without jacket but with wrist length gloves, bare arm dress will be fashionable this summer !

Woman’s Gestures Change

The new crop of clothes and accessories brings with it a new set of womanly gestures. The lady wearing the bellowing boa, will be continually fluffing it out and adjusting the belt that anchors it ( below).
Her hands will be reaching up to keep the pillbox hat sitting squarely on her head – when they aren’t reaching up to smooth hair, which she is letting grow in back to balance the new narrow silhouette, conscious of her new big eye make-up look, which is the rage since January.

Read our earlier post on the French Doe-eyed make-up look which has taken the world by storm.

Hattie Carnegie’s Tweed Suit 1950

ANCHORING SASH of an organdy boa around her waist is a preliminary to fluffing its folds through the neckline of this little tweed suit ( Hattie Carnegie ). This silhouette is becoming a fashion institution

Patent Sandals and Stockings

Wearing patent shoes or carrying a patent bag, she will flick nervously at the slight specks of dust that mar their shiny surfaces.

MINCING up a step in tight skirt show more leg than has been seen in several seasons. Stripped patent sandals worn with pale seamed stockings.

Her short tight skirt keeps her mincing along in little steps. the skirts, of course, show off her long legs, but they also mean an incessant reaching down and back again to straighten her stocking seams. It’s going to be hard work to be fashionable this season.

One Last Dress to Wear


Even to a popular model like Dorian Leigh, who manages to sample most new fashions, the tour through these styles gave her a quick glimpse into the near future. Weary at the end, she still got a life out of this dress, for a white evening gown, as every girl knows, is a sure fire way of turning heads.

Original article © Life Magazine
Photos by Gjon Mili

That’s all !

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