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.
The featured 17" 1965 Polly No. 1751 is a wonderful representation of the American prom dress. The word prom is short for promenade, the formal, introductory parading of guests at a party. The prom can be traced back to the simple co-ed banquets that nineteenth century American universities held for each year's graduating class. What to wear to the prom would reflect the fashion trends and culture of the moment.
Formal 1950s prom dresses were layers of tulle and snug princess cut bodices. These dresses were floor length or tea length. Pink was the hottest prom color with other bright colors being popular too. Bodices were strapless, halter neck, or mesh top short sleeves with silver and gold embroidery or accented with bows
The 1960s prom dress preferred a short cocktail dress over longer ball gowns. Pink shared metallic gold and silver as favored colors. For these formal occasions, a sleeveless bodice or a sleeveless empire waist dress with long skirt became very popular and the new silhouette. The prom dresses worn during this era were influenced by Hollywood movies, politics, and even The Space Age. From funky to glamorous, there was a huge assortment of design choices for this increasingly popular event.
The era of the prom dress - Polly is every inch a Prom Princess.