The Fabulous Fifties - Ballarat Heritage weekend 2017

The 1950s - the decade of the New Perfection in fashion

With a striking new silhouette introduced by Christian Dion in 1947, the full skirt and nipped in waist has become iconic to the 50s. Also in the 1950s, the long, lean look - the hourglass silhouette- was also introduced. 

By 1952 everywomen dreamed of owning a Dior (hence the name of my first book, Dreaming of Dior). 

The 'perfect' housewife greeted her husband looking immaculate from head to toe, the children were snuggly in bed and dinner was on the table. 

Fifties fashion was from one extreme to the other: from haute couture ball gowns to novelty print rockabilly skirts and twinsets. Fashion catered to every social group who wanted to dress for every occasion.

Ballarat Heritage Weekend is an annual event. Every year, the theme changes and The Darnell Collection parades brings to life the era. Over twenty garments were accessories to perfection and models walked the catwalk while I narrated social and fashion history to give integrity to each outfit.
Crowds were enormous this year - all turning dressed in the best and in the best vintage to walk my special guests Tara Moss, Jacinta Tynan and Emma Birdsall model with local and out of state models including the Mayor of Ballarat, Samantha McIntosh. 
It was an extraordinary weekend. 

Thank you Ballarat Council for supporting such a unique and classy weekend 
in your magnificent city.

A crowd of over 500 watched the Saturday parade held inside the beautiful Mining Institute

Promotion at its best 

Line-up of Saturday's bevy of beautiful models
(Photo by Kate Healy)
Sunday's parades showcased a diverse range of womenswear in the 50s
(Grace, Eliza and Olivia)
Sunday's parades went from evening wear to day suits - all accessorised to perfection
(Molly, Fabienne and Jemima)

Tara Moss, author and feminist, and Jacinta Tynan, author and news presenter join me on stage for 'In Conversation'
Olivia channelling Audrey Hepburn in a silk crepe Dorothy O'Hara hourglass dress
(Photo by Kate Healy, The Courier)

Jacinta looking like a princess in a ball gown by Limelight
(This photo and following photos by Kate Healy, The Courier)
Tara looking soigné in a lace Elizabeth Arden hostess gown
Eva wears a silk chiffon summer dress
Eliza looking elegant in a dress patterned to imitate shagreen
Fabienne wearing a silk crepe and grosgrain cocktail dress