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With the end of World War II, the United States emerged as the dominant world power, and societies around the world tried to return to some semblance of normalcy.  With Christian Dior's New Look of 1947, fashion became more romantic and feminine, with inspiration being drawn from the nineteenth century.  After so many years of lean living, women craved to embrace luxury and sophistication once again.  Clothes became more rigid and tailored, with an emphasis on an hourglass silhouette.  Here are three women that fit the new polished ideal.


1. Bettina



Simone Micheline Bodin Graziani was a premiere fashion model of the immediate postwar years in Paris.  Named 'Bettina' by couturier Jaques Fath (whom she worked for as a house model) the gamine beauty appeared regularly on Parisian runways, and on the pages of American Vogue during the fifties.  Known for her haughty froideur and sophistication; qualities that lent themselves to the rigorous, tailored silhouettes of the decade.


2. Babe Paley



American socialite Babe Paley (born Barbara Cushing) was famour for her flawless, put together personal style.  Before her marriage, Paley worked for American Vogue both as a correspondant and occasional model.  Of her careful self presentation, author Truman Capote once said "She had only one fault, she was perfect; otherwise she was perfect." Paley's understated luxury came to symbolize the abundant prosperity of America in the years following World War II.


3. Marilyn Monroe



Marilyn Monroe is remembered for her image first, film roles second.  She was the ultimate bombshell of the postwar period; platinum blonde hair, voluptuous figure, and an overt the top glamorous wardrobe.  There is little that can be said about Monroe that hasnt been said already; her hyper sexualized persona combined with her innocent vulnerability have made her the stuff of pop culture legend.  A true icon of style and glamour.

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