|Swimwear (Pathfinder Magazine, 1947)|
The only big fashion innovation popular enough to share the 1947 headlines with Dior's "New Look" involved the evolution in women's swimwear; most notably the Bikini. The attached single page article pertains to all the new fabrics being deployed in ladies beachwear and all their assorted coverups:
"Sand-and-sun fashions for this summer are perter and briefer than ever before. Although the typical bathing suit covers just about 2.5 square feet of a swimmer's anatomy, a costume-look for the beach is achieved with a companion cape, skirt of short coat... Favored fabrics are those made to ride the waves. Knitted wool shows up in both classic and unusual designs. Colors are softer and muted. Black and blue appear most often, with cider, gray and smudge the 'high-style' shades."
•Click here to learn about women's fashions from the Summer of 1934•
The Short Hair of the Late Forties (The Diamondback, 1949)
"The shingle cut, the feather trim, the French Scissors cut or the cherub cut - no matter which you choose - a short hairstyle flatters your face.... When the American college girl first began to clip her long tresses, the general reaction was one of general horror. Now that the surprise has worn off, the various advantages of short hair become apparent: trim locks are cool, easy to take care of, smart looking and stylish."
College Fashion (Look, 1941)
Dusty, Peggy and Jean were just three of the co-eds that made up the six percent of American women who attended college in 1941 - and that's all that was required of them in order for the trio to sample fashion's latest wares and sound-off in the attached Fall fashion review.
The fashion archives have indicated that the vast majority of college girls tended to rely on the ol' dependable skirt/sweater combo, yet these campi-cuties sampled a quilted "Deb-Robe", for those chilly nights around the dorm, a "date dress" (no explanation needed), a topcoat composed of "Anacuna" (we think that this was an ad man's name for lambswool; mimicking the name "vicuna" which is a remarkably expensive wool), and a corduroy jerkin. All of them passed with flying colors.
Paris Is Back! (Collier's Magazine, 1946)
Having no foresight as to the fashion juggernaut that would commence in one year with the appearance of Christian Dior's "New Look", the journalist puts all her credibility in one basket by declaring that all eyes are on the French fashion designer Madame Marcelle Dormoy. Much ink is spilled concerning the bleakness that clouded fashionable Paris during the occupation and the difficulty all fashion houses experienced in 1946 securing suitable fabric for their creations (at black-market prices).
The writer recovered some of her street-cred anticipating the meteoric career return of the well-loved French film actress Edwige Feuillère (1907 – 1998), who is personified herein as the epitome of French Glamour returned.
Click here to read a 1946 article about Le Corbusier.
The Hats of 1947 (Collier's Magazine, 1947)
With the exception of the broad-brimmed sun hat pictured in the attached fashion editorial, you will find that women's hats were growing smaller throughout the course of the Forties and they tended to sit farther back on the cranium, requiring hairdos that would accommodate and complement these creations.
The Sally Victor hat composed of red cherries took its inspiration directly from the bizarre, comical costumes worn by the actress Carmen Miranda. This fruit theme was typical of many post-war milliners. The six other hats in the piece were by two American designers: Lilly Dache and John-Frederics.
Click here to see what men's summer hats were like during this period.
Fashion Modeling in the 1940s (Coronet Magazine, 1944)
Although this 1944 article sums up the bygone world of the New York fashion model, the terms "heroin chic" and "bulimia" are not found on any of it's five pages (an over site, no doubt). The Forties were a time when a model would be just as likely to get a booking from a commercial artist as she would a photographer, and, unlike the Twenties and the earliest days of the Thirties, it was a time when a standardized image of beauty was well-established.
"five feet nine inches in height, weight 110 pounds, bust 33, waist 24, hips 34, blonde or a light shade of brown hair. She will have quick, clever eyes and a very expressive face."
"Many of the models are bitter, unhappy girls inside. They soon grow disillusioned with their dream of modeling as a gateway to theatrical glory; they learn that their height is against them."
Additional articles about 1940s fashion modeling can be read by clicking here...
Click here to read articles about fashions during World War Two.