Hello one and all,
Are you near London? Are you at a loose end tomorrow? Fancy having a jaunt by the Thames and learning a bit about the Festival of Britain?
Then come and meet Lena (Style High Club), Margaret (Penny Dreadful) and me at 11am and 2pm, outside the Southbank Foyles, where we'll transport you back to 1951 with our Festival of Britain tours.
The added bonus is, after we've nattered at you for about half an hour, I've heard there's reems of vintage stalls and other entertainment to browse too!
It'd be lovely to meet you
Saturday, 30 July 2011
Monday, 25 July 2011
The '30s drew inspiration from the rise of Hollywood where glamour oozed from the screen. Everything became less jagged and jazzy and more smooth and sultry. Clothes became more fluid creating sleek curves and celebrating the image of a woman's shape. Many of the experimental changes of the '20s were corrected; on a 1930's woman's outfit The waistline returned (as opposed to the drop waist of the '20s). Similarly, the skirt length became longer, in reverse to the '20s approach to fashion where shockingly short hemlines were popular.
The lovely Norma Shearer shows us how it's done in bias cut satin. The bias cut emphasises curves and satin shimmers to create an opulence... it also clings to every line, making it rather unforgiving on a fat day!
I love that the 1930s saw the woman's body as beautiful and feminine. The bust line was returned and was emphasised after years of being suppressed (due to the androgynous 20's style). Because of the renewed emphasis on healthy living, sports wear became popular, and this focus on exercise combined with the slender movie stars and Busby Berkeley beauties made it fashionable to be healthy and for a woman to show off her long lean form.
"Does my bum look big in this?" Busby Berkeley would be sure to say so... measuring each dancer to ensure the overall effect on screen was one of symmetry and perfection.
If your figure didn't quite cut Berkeley girl perfection, all was not lost... because slim was 'in' the corset returned in order to recreate that fashionable streamlined look. As a 1933 Harper's Bazaar article on the season's new line of corsets cautions...
"You cannot have a roll of flesh about the midriff. An uncontrolled derriere is vulgar in a slinky dress."
... I have recently acquired a '30s girdle and by golly it works, you just can't eat much whilst wearing it!
Two fashion designers synonymous with the era are Madeleine Vionnet and Elsa Schiaparelli. Both women created memorable fashions that were in step with 1930s concepts. An iconic look of the era was Elsa Schiaparelli's knitted white bow jumper. The decade also saw designers create fashions that were helpful to women in the workplace such as a woman's suit that even had pockets that looked like drawers!
Top left and main image: The Schiaparelli Lobster dress, created in collaboration with Salvador Dali in 1937, infamously worn by Wallis Simpson and photographed by Cecil Beaton. Bottom left inset Schiaparelli's iconic famous sweater.
This was the decade that created trends and consumerism. With the rise of off the peg fashions and mass produced cosmetics , cinema goers could watch a film at the local Odeon and emulate their favourite film star's clothes, hairstyle, make up or even eyebrows... all in order to stay in vogue and add a touch of luxury in their day to day routine!
Possibly the most copied eyebrows in the world. Greta had to darken her fair brows so they'd be seen on the camera, and female cinema goers followed suit
The ritual of application make became the norm in the '30s, once a taboo it now was de rigueur to apply lipstick and powder paint in public, as Winifred Watson observes out, in her 1938 novel "Miss Pettigrew lives for a day" (which is a jolly good read)
“Come now, Guinevere,” said Miss LaFosse. “You must powder your nose again. It isn’t done not to. Last gesture before entering a room. It gives a sense of confidence...With trembling fingers, nervous, clumsy, contented, for the first time in her life, Miss Pettigrew powdered her own nose. “Do you know,” she said happily. “I think you’re right. It does add a certain assurance to one’s demeanor. I feel it already.”
-Winifred Watson, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (1938)
Powder, surprisingly, was more popular than lipstick in the '30s, which saw the rise of ornate powder compacts and even publications giving advice on how to apply the perfect powder base.
|Just in case you didn't know already girls ;)|
|A typical 1930s compact, containing a powder compartment, lipstick applicator and cigarette case|
The next installment will look at architecture, the US depression and UK's Jarrow marches. So watch this space :)
Friday, 22 July 2011
I love the interwar years... from 1920-1939 the social history is fascinating, architecture amazing, music sublime... and the clothes a feast for the eyes!
You can really see the mood of an age through all these factors, so I've decided to do a couple of posts about these two decades sandwiched between two, massive world changing events. (And if you enjoy it, I may even do a follow up on wartime and post war fashions!)
So, without further ado, I bring you a brief delve into the 1920s...
So, without further ado, I bring you a brief delve into the 1920s...
The '20s saw a sudden release from what was before WW1. Women had won the vote, worked through the war and experienced an emancipation never known to them. For all, after the experiences of war, there was a general need to let ones hair down... the 1920s was like a huge sigh of relief and a general abandon away from war. Thus the jazz age was born.
In fashion the highly coiffed hair, tight laced corsets creating S shaped curves, hobble skirts and high necked blouses were abandoned in favour of shingled hair, short skirts and boyish figures.
It wasn't only fashion that moved away from the old ways, evolving from ragtime hot jazz became mainstream... echoing in peoples ears and offering a suitable soundtrack of momentum to this fast paced decade.
The main picture is an early Edwardian Ragtime music sheet cover, the smaller insert is a 1920s jazz sheet music cover, to me the differences in the art work help to sum up the mood of the music and era.
And architecture looked upwards and onwards, breaking away from convention and creating a feeling of movement and modernism, thus the first skyscrapers were born. In the UK 55 Broadway is a prime example, . You can also see new discoveries of the age inspiring design, when King Tutankhamen’s tomb was excavated in 1922, Egyptomania exploded into popular culture.
|55 Broadway, modern, brutal and so much bigger than everything else around it!|
|Even Palmolive embraced the '20s fascination for Egypt, how else does one appeal to a flapper?!|
Are you tingling with emancipation? Fancy liberating you inner flapper? You should be able to with ease this Autumn and Winter with 1920s and '30s fashions set to appear on the high street. I've had a little hunt to find some '20s fashions for you to Charleston in...
On the High Street...
|Oooo this makes me drool, find it at Miss Selfridge for £70!|
|Double drool, twinkly heels... I want! £65 from Schuh|
|Pretty hair? Done at Treasure Box for £24.95|
|Oh I wish I'd won the Euro millions or had £566.25. From Gold Mine Trash|
|GOLD! ... always believe in your... shoes! Oh how I wish I had detachable toes to squeeze myself into these pretties. £62.92 from Bad Girl Vintage|
|Need something to twirl whilst you Charleston? This tassel necklace should help. £33.98 from Gypsy Road Studio|
Next up... the 1930s
Friday, 1 July 2011
Tonight I have my first grown up gig, at a restaurant in Portsmouth called The Kitsch 'n d'or (I love that name!)
This time the band doesn't only consist of close friends and family members, there will be no rehearsal, the audience won't be familiar pub locals rooting for me and I don't just sing a song per set, but three or four ... so I'm beginning to feel a touch of terror.
So, from about 7pm until 11pm GMT, if you wouldn't mind rooting for me and sending as much luck as you can muster, I will be eternally grateful... and shall be able to post clips of the gig up here after :)
If you are in the Portsmouth vicinity and are free, it would be lovely to see you... I hear the venue is lovely and does smashing food... so if my warbling's below par you'll be able to distract yourself with splendid nosh!