One of my all time favorite Cissy’s is this 1957 No. 2143 lilac taffeta afternoon ensemble. It combines much of the best of Madame Alexander and her interpretation of midcentury fashion for Cissy. Included is a caplet jacket with lapels, a dress with box pleats a corsage detail at the bodice that coordinates with the flowers of her fashionable lilac straw hat with netting. This example is an auburn coiffed Cissy with curls that that pair up perfectly with her open crown hat.
The color itself is a complete departure of the practical war colors for the forties. A newly available post war pallet was all about an explosion of colors previously not available. Box pleats reinforced the idea of the luxury of fabric in ways that add new extravagant fullness and detail which required much more yardage.
By now, fashion had evolved to include a dress for every occasion and every occasion had it's hat. There was the house and day dress, the afternoon dress, the tea dress, and the newly established cocktail dress. Evening dress now included the prom - so very important to the emerging baby boomers. Evening fabrics like organdy, chiffon, taffeta, silk, and tulle were very popular, and bows, flowers or other accessories were often featured.
The lucite purse is particularly interesting detail seen with this Cissy. Lucite was created in 1931 by the American chemical company DuPont, which would also work with the Alexander Doll Company in the late 1940s developing and refining plastics for dolls. Lucite purses could be be quite fanciful in their design and color. They became particularly popular with the Miami vacation set - which became the playground of the wealthy during the 1950s. its fun-in-the-sun, holiday appeal made it the perfect spot to sell Lucite bags. The appeal was contagious, and the lucite purse became a major fashion statement.