When I lived in Hong Kong I visited an exhibit called The Golden Age of Couture at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. The exhibit on temporary loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, celebrated an important decade in fashion history from 1947-1957. More than a hundred dresses were featured created by designers like Chanel and Dior. The Golden Age of Couture began just after World War II. People were beginning to have an interest in things like fashion again.
I was particularly intrigued by the displays of fancy hats. I can remember when a well-dressed woman always wore a hat. Going to church as a little girl I often entertained myself during a boring sermon by studying the hats of the congregation members.
My parents got married in 1952 and in their wedding pictures all of the female guests, including my grandmothers, are wearing stylish hats.
I also paused at the display of cocktail dresses. One reminded me of a dress my mother had owned. My father was a medical student during the first years of their marriage and there wasn’t money for fancy dresses. Mom sewed her dresses and the ones my sister and I wore. However for my Dad’s medical school graduation she splurged and bought a lovely blue and white cocktail dress with a flaring skirt and a short little fitted jacket. I can remember thinking how beautiful she looked in it.
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