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By Pragya Jhunjhunwala

May 29th, 2021

When the war ended in 1945, fashion took a complete turn by the 1950s. Clothing during the war reflected the priorities of men and women alike. Grim, dark (as the dye was expensive), and functional.

In the 1950s, color and style came back. Clothing rations and fabric restrictions endured some time after as the economy changed slowly from a war economy toward peace. Fashion was no longer about functionality. Crochet competitions also resumed after the war ended, fueling art as a hobby. For instance, the annual contest by The National Needlecraft Bureau was put off during the war and resumed in 1948, and it was won by a male rail worker.

Crochet was no longer motivated by patriotism or supporting the war, but it blossomed into personal creative form. Crochet took off in popularity as people crocheted colorful afghans, pillows, and dresses. The famous granny square(A granny square is a piece of square fabric produced in crochet by working in rounds from the center outward) was born, expanding crochet into new territory!

Clothes for women embraced femininity, the stitching would capture the soft form of the shoulders, which were no longer rounded or squared. Women opted to wear wrist-length gloves and full billowing skirts. Even working women’s outfits hinted at fragility, with pencil-slim skirts, little hats with veil and feathers. Hemlines went up, as opposed to the previous decade’s dominant presence of paths and knee-length skirts.

Christian Dior himself, had crochet as a part of his collections.

The baby boom encouraged a new surge in crocheted mittens, socks, scarves, and blankets, all made baby-sized.

Women kept their hair short and curled, and a hat was always a must for when they left the house. The hat would be crocheted, adorned with artificial flowers, feathers, and ribbons. In fact, sometimes the hats were crocheted to match a handbag.

Fashion in the 1950s was all about change. It was about color and expression. Fashion had undergone a complete makeover and crochet had its own role to play, especially in the upliftment of women in terms of hobbies and individualism.

This snowballed into the next era, the swinging sixties. Fashion was a statement and crochet definitely had something to say. Stay tuned for that conversation and until then, stay safe and

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