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Australia's Social And Cultural History In The Post War Period. Chosen Decade 1950s

1948 words - 8 pages

1950s fashionCarrying on from the trends of the 1940s, clothes looked more affluent, posh and high-class. Women still dressed fairly formally with hats, gloves and stockings regarded as essential accessories. Women usually carried their handbags. American movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Ava Gardner also influenced women's fashion. Parisian fashions such as Christian Dior's "New Look" which featured pinched in waist and full skirts were eagerly sought out and copied by Australian women. Women also copied the conservative image of Sandra Dee. Department stores began to run fashion parades to feature all the latest overseas fashions and magazines such as "Australian Women's Weekly" and "Vogue". The fashion parades featured tips and ideas for fashionable dressing. Men still wore suits but new fashions were emerging for them in sport clothing as synthetic materials became popular. Sports jackets, sports shirts, Bermuda shorts and blue denim jeans became popular. Middle-aged men still wore hats and had haircuts that tended to be close-cropped crew cuts. There were also changes to teenage fashion. By the late 1950s, the British 'Teddy Boy' style became the vogue for many young men. Stovepipe (narrow) trousers, narrow ties and pointed shoes became fashionable. Movie stars such as Marlon Brando from The Wild One created teenage fashion with Levis, ripple-soled shoes and leather motorbike jackets. Young men were influenced by James Dean who wore a white T-shirt and jeans. American rock stars such as Elvis Presley set a new style with leather bike jackets, tight trousers, white socks and black rubber-soled shoes. The boys that followed this trend were called 'bodgies'. They also used hair cream (Brylcreem) and, grew long sideburns. Girls, known as 'widgies' wore blouses and full skirts and petticoats that swirled during rock 'n' roll or jive dances. Schools maintained conservative dress standards. In the 1950s, the type of beach wear was unique. The one-piece costume was the most popular swimsuit for women. It was made of stretch nylon with detachable straps and a built-in bra. In the mid 1950s, the bloomer costume became fashionable. There was less emphasis on the bust line, and the material around the hips puffed out. At the very end of the decade the bikini was popular but regulations specified that bikini waist-lines had to be at least seven centimetres above the hip.1950s musicIn the mid 1950s, rock and roll music from America helped to develop a different culture in Australia. The king of rock 'n' roll Elvis Presley and other popular artists such as Bill Haley and the Comets, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard were part of the big American influence on Australians. Over time, Australian culture absorbed many aspects of American culture such as rock and roll music. As a result of this, Australia to have its own stars that copied American rock stars such as Elvis Presley. The new breed of musicians included Johnny O'Keefe, the rock...

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