Cissy in those big stripes — makes you want to smile! Madame Alexander provided for Cissy well. From 1955 through 1962, Cissy was dressed, gowned, accessorized, jeweled and hatted with extraordinary millinery. Part of the fascination with fashion dolls is, well — the fashion! This striped dress with the contrasting of directional stripes isn't just a polished cotton day dress. It is a direct reflection of one of the big trends of the fashion of this mid century time period. Paris gave the runway oversized stripes, American department stores have their customers oversized stripes and Madame Alexander, constantly reacting to what was happening around her, gave Cissy big oversized stripes. Dolls, like fashion, are a reflection of what's happening around them.
Cissy goes to the opera... One of the most elegant of Cissy's in formal attire. An interesting accessory detail is the double strand beaded necklace — which is tied into place at the back of the dolls neck. Of course, the correct length of opera gloves has not been overlooked. Being a New Yorker herself, Madame Alexander was inclined to put Cissy in the world of a New York City debutante... and the Opera was very much a New York City tradition.
With dressing for the opera, came the ever so important etiquette of wearing opera gloves. The correct opera glove etiquette for the length of glove is dependent on the length of your sleeve — the shorter the sleeve, the longer the glove and therefore opera gloves are properly worn with sleeveless or short-sleeved dresses/evening gowns. Some 1950s guidelines for wearing opera gloves:
- White and its various shades, including ivory, beige and taupe, are the traditional colors for opera gloves and are appropriate for virtually any occasion on which opera gloves are worn.
- Black Opera Gloves should not be worn with light-colored dresses, but can be worn with black, dark-colored or bright-colored clothing.
- Opera gloves should not be put on in public but should be put on in the privacy of your own home.
- They should always be removed when dining. They do not have to be removed when drinking but if there is a risk of spilling wine on them, then it is fine to take them off.
- You should remove your gloves at dinner, and put them back on afterwards.
- They should not be removed in order to shake hands.
- Any removing of the gloves in public should be done discreetly.
- Don’t wear jewelry over gloves, with the exception of bracelets.
- Don’t apply makeup with gloves on.
- Don’t play cards with gloves on.
The 1950s were a fledgling period for the tradition of American opera. The New York Metropolitan Opera was, up to now, more likely than not to perform the most traditional works for a conservative fan base. Opera would enjoy growth during this period. Besides big business making large grants, smaller groups were formed with lower overhead to perform newer works and to bring opera to the people, and in turn, make opera more accessible. Radio would also bring opera to the a wider audience. The New York City Opera, established in 1943, became known as " The Peoples Opera," and staged many new American works. New opera houses sprouted up in the 1950s and '60s in Dallas, Houston, Santa Fe, Tulsa, Minneapolis, Seattle and Louisville. Opera also grew at the academic level, as opera workshops became more prominent in universities.