Saturday, June 16, 2012

The dress circle

I'll admit that I got this book solely because of the 1940s scalloped edge suit on the cover. It is absolutely divine and I want it. I'll also confess that I only read the first chapter - on 1940s fashion - so you'll have to take my criticism with a grain of salt. One of the reasons that i didn't read it all was that the book is very text heavy. It goes into a LOT of detail and I would have liked more images. Another reason is that about the first image you see in the forties section is a 1950s outfit... Anyhoo... A department store design by Slimline. Gotta love a peplum, and such a luscious colour too. I can't give you a date because most of the images are undated. And this is a history book! Chinoiserie by designer Flora McKenzie. This was my favorite story. Flora ran a high end boutique famed for its exotic designs. She held soirees during the war, courting American soldiers who'd pay big bucks on outfits to impress their girlfriends. The story goes that at the end of a party she'd find bundles of money left by servicemen who'd gone home with her models. Whatever the reason, Flora soon gave up the boutique to become a madam in a brothel. Which is a shame because her Asian inspired designs show an amazing level of detail and craftsmanship. I'll leave you with a poem from the New Zealand Weekly News in 1945 Turning Land Girls into Glamour Girls When this temptress makes an entrance Strong men burn to master Stern hearts beat faster, for she’s feminine again And they can’t resist her line (she never really cared for aping men) So put away your overalls And smarten up your curves, girls And get in line with fashion A high up-tilted bosom is quite the latest passion And a sweetly, neatly swerving, curving waist! - Toodle Pip!

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