one of our fave decades
Recently Kelso spotted a beautiful 1940's inspired editorial by Harper's Bazaar Brasil that really tickled our insides. Not only is the spread gorgeous but it features one of our favourite colour combos (purple, red & pink!) and it showcases styling from a decade that arguably gets the least amount of love when it comes to fashion. Why the lack of lust for forties fashion? Well, with WWII in full swing, fashion took a backseat to…uh, well…everything. And rightfully so. All commodities were under strict rationing, including fabric, needles, thread, buttons and the like. Embellishments were pretty much off-limits. Sleeve volume was restricted. Hemlines went up, and skirts were more fitted--all in effort to conserve, and minimize waste of fabric.
Being that fashion was striped of all it's glory in the forties, you might also assume that it also lost it's guts--but that isn't the case! Forties fashion was marvellously thrifty. With minimal materials to work with, women and fashion designers alike used creativity and ingenious pattern design to make the most of what was available. Popular magazines were printing "how-to's" on recycling fashion--a favourite was how to refashion men's suits (of which there were an abundance of as most young men were overseas) into skirt suits for women.
With the fashion capitol of Paris under siege, North America had no one to look to as a beacon for trends. They had to look to themselves which resulted in a glorious number of innovations such as ballet flats, denim and gingham as a fashion fabric, halter necklines, cap sleeves, utilitarian fashion, and more! We've actually decided that we need to do an entire other blog on this before we get out of hand raving about this ultra-creative, super-brave decade. For now you'll have to settle for this gorgeous editorial and a list below giving a few pointers on what to look for to identify forties fashion. Yeeaaa, enjoy!
And now, Margot + Maude's as brief as possible guide to spotting 1940's (early to mid-forties to be precise) styling!
Silhouette: strong, padded shoulders, nipped in at the waist, narrow knee-length skirt. Dresses typically fitted at the neck, wrist and waist. Utilitarian or military styling. Peplums and fitted suit jackets are popular.
Shoes: platforms, slingbacks, and peeptoes, all with work sensibility in mind…check out the great shoes in this 1940's street style shot! (Check the background too! There's some great platform sandals and a snood in there.)
Boom! There you go, our moderately quick guide to forties fashion ;)