Thursday, January 19, 2012

So Very Chic


It's a pleasure to research the fashions of the decades after the Great War. In the 1920’s it became acceptable for women to smoke and drink in public. “Flappers” as they were named, wore straight, loose frocks, decorated by beads and when dancing the Charleston, the clever cut of the dress revealed a tantalizing hint of knee. Hemlines on coats, dresses and skirts rose swiftly to lower by the end of the 20’s, as women came to terms with the fact they could show off as much knee and calf as they wished – and wanted to keep a little in reserve for the imagination.Ladies flocked to the high street shops that we now know as stores, to queue for silk stockings in every colour and often with outrageous patterns. The Hollywood stars led the way, with hairstyles of women like Louise Brooks, famous for her cheeky bob, sending hairdressers worldwide into a frenzy of scissoring.Even a working girl could afford to look like her matinee idol, not so very different from today. Style was all important by the 1930’s and women’s clothing became the focus of every magazine just as it is now. Men’s clothing also hotted up. Higher waists for suits were popular (very Simon Cowell) also turn-ups, modest lapels and crazy shoes. Two-toned, white and tan, black and white, patent leather and fringed tongues. Men’s footwear had never been so brazen. Fair Isle jumpers and casual shirts were teamed up with flannels and the opportunity to wear full suits and cravats was never missed.So, having just departed the 30's by finishing one story and going on to the next, I open with a new page in 1940...to the sound of air raid sirens and the sight of barrage balloons - the material of which was sometimes used for - yes! - fashion wear! But that's another blog of course... 

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