Monday, 16 January 2012

fashion during depression and war time... the 1930s and 40s

_the 1930s
in short The Great Depression, American Cinema, return of the waist, long backless dresses, Marlene Dietrich & trousers
After the Wall Street crash in 1929 also fashion went through a sudden change. During the years of depression, fashion was driven by the fantasies of Hollywood and by the desire to return to a more traditionally feminine image of women.
The boyish look that has dominated the 20s disappeared completely and women were now women again.

Marlene Dietrich
The waist went back to its place and the female shapes were in the spotlight again. The biggest invention was the glamouress "backless" dress made popular by the cinema, and as accessoiries elbow-length gloves were the perfect match for this kind of evening gown.

Katherine Hepburn
Although the feminine curves were back, trousers occured for the first time! This revolution is mainly attributed by two big movie stars of the 30s, Marlene Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn.

_the 1940
World War II changed every aspect of civilian life. Women had to replace their husbands and work for themselves. Clothing was no longer a personal concern and what you wore, the textiles and costs were controlled. 

Coco Chanel
Some might say that fashion did not exist because fashion implies a 'freedom of choice'.  Others might say the exact opposite, believing the restrictions brought about a need for creativity. The truth lies probably somewhere inbetween. The limitations of that time challenged the profession of a designer and for example Coco Chanel introduced the simple fabric Jersey for new practical clothes.

A different icon of that era is Rosie the Riveter, representing US women working in factories during WWII. You might have come across this poster before as it is commonly used as a symbol for feminism.

But also the blue romper and the bandana is often copied!

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