One of the many introductions in the 1950s fashion parade was the ballerina length dresses and gowns that Dior made famous. Dior specifically used the phrase " Demi-Longueur" to refer to this longer hem line. It was hugely popular, would be translated by any number of fashion designers, and would also be called Tea-Length, 3/4 Length and Ballerina Length. It would be used for evening, day and the newly introduced "Cocktail Dress." The Prom Dress, just gaining national popularity, was also another category that might be "Demi-Longueur." Some of the most iconic and desirable wardrobe by Madame Alexander for fashion diva "Cissy" were dressed à la mode in this 3/4 length dresses and gowns. Still a classic, it appears often in bridal fashion and on the Paris runway.
Hebert de Givenchy
The Elise Ballerina... Alexander needed the right model and voila - Elise was created with adjustable ankles to accommodate a huge trend sweeping the country. Not only as a doll, but fashion was gobbling up elements of ballet costume design into couture fashion. Not only the ballerina length (3/4 length or tea length), but tulle and the ballet slipper were huge. The leotard used for practice became very fashionable too, especially when Audrey Hepburn, a ballerina herself, wore one in the 1957 movie (Think Pink!) Funny Face. Choreographer Balanchine remade American Ballet in his own image and classical Russian training — very thin and very young ballerina's were now in. Elise was the right doll at the right time.