[n.p.:]: 1955-57. 137 sheets of hand-drawn sketches (sixty-two on 9” x 11 ” sheets, 75 on 5 ” x 8 ” sheets). Most with handwritten design descriptions, notes, and accompanying fabric swatches pinned or taped onto the sheets. Also with price lists, inventories, and printed ads for the Candy Jr. brand (ads correspond with designs made by Saunders that are included in the present set). Portfolio somewhat worn and creased. Enclosed are eight contemporary manila folders, organized by season (Holiday 1955, Fall 1956, Spring 1957, etc.), all hand-labeled in pencil. Some designs signed “V. Saunders” or “Vivian Saunders.” Some toning and creasing to leaves. A few fabric swatches detached from leaves. Overall, a very good set of striking original sketches of 1950s-era fashion designs for young women. Stored in a contemporary accordion-fold card paper portfolio hand-labeled “Sketches of Accepted Designs.”. Item #16984
Most of the sketches are for party dresses and evening gowns made for young women in their early teens to early twenties (juniors and misses). The designs include many iconic designs associated with the 1950s, including “poodle” skirts with ample petticoats, boleros and cardigans, and sheath dresses with cinched waists. The 26 swatches indicate a wide range of textures, colors, and patterns like gingham, plaid, organza, metallics, appliques, ribbon, velvet, fur, and much more.“.
Fashion in the 1950s saw a clear gender divide. While men and boy’s fashion moved towards a more casual day-to-day style, women and girl’s fashion prioritized elegance, formality, and perfectly matched accessories...[N]ovel prints and colors marked a playfulness in fashion for both men and women...As the decade progressed...fashion began to look to the new ‘teenager’ for inspiration, the elegance and formality of the early part of the decade began to lessen.” The 1950s also came with an unprecedented amount of choice in fashion, fueled in part by the relaxing of wartime austerity: “One particularly striking aspect of the decade was the emergence of stylish options. Two ladies could walk down the street in different outfits, yet appear equally modish, be their skirts full and narrow, or one in a form-fitting sheath and the other in a loose sack dress. We could not locate much information on Vivian Saunders, though she was clearly a prolific designer for the young women’s fashion brand Candy Jr. Reddy, Karina. Fashion History Timeline: 1950-1959. Fashion Institute of Technology website.27.