Saturday, September 9, 2017

#anAWWyear - September 1947: Fashion

I'm starting September with fashion again. I was overwhelmed with choice this month, and I'm worried this post will get quite long!

I'm going to start with some cunning "Paris styles... at budget prices". The Women's Weekly were not only making reasonably priced versions of these dresses available to buy, they were also making patterns available to the home dressmaker.
Australian Women's Weekly, Sep 27 1947, p43
That blue and white dress gingham sundress looks almost too simple to be Dior. I feel you could wear that anywhere in summer and feel stunning.

The drapey green dress by Marcel Rochas has the most beautiful neckline. I don't know how it would work with a larger bust, but I'd be willing to risk it if I could still get the pattern for 3/6.
Dress by Marcel Rochas
Australian Women's Weekly, Sep 6 1947, p9
One of the things I find fascinating about pages like this is seeing the fashion illustrations right next to the models, because the clothes do sit that bit differently. 
More gorgeousness, by Dior and Carven
Australian Women's Weekly, Sep 6 1947, p8

In a page on handbags, I was captivated by these unusually shaped bags - the copy seems to suggest these are intended to be more casual beach bags, but made up in the right materials I think that hexagonal drawstring bag could look very smart.
Beach bags from Paris
Australian Women's Weekly, Sep 13 1947, p39

There weren't many things that appealed in the fashion patterns service this month; the 'afternoon dress with an elegant drape' pictured below is one of the only ones I wanted. The detail below also shows the top of a three piece casual beach outfit.
Fashion patterns to send away for
Australian Women's Weekly,
Sep 13 1947, p30
I've been considering a pair of culottes or wide shorts as a summer wardrobe piece, and I found myself returning to this picture of women working in Britain's hayfields. The silhouette of these outfits appeal. And always nice to see some examples of real outfits being worn.
Detail of photo accompanying an article on volunteer agricultural workers in Britain
Australian Women's Weekly,  Sep 13 1947, p9

There were a few advertisements for clothes and fabric which I wanted to discuss today too. During my thesis research I ran across an article (sadly I can't find the reference right now - all my notes are archived) which was discussing how, with the fall of Paris to the German army in WWII, the pressing question on everyone's lips must be 'to where will the torch of fashion pass?' I had not considered that, post-war, Paris must be working to regain that torch in the public perception. But here is that sentiment being expressed: "Fashion is again queen at the Rue de Rivoli, style centre of a woman's world."
Section from a Selby shoe advertisement, showing a woman in a blue and white striped dress and text discussing Paris and fashion
Detail from a Selby shoe advertisement
Australian Women's Weekly, Sep 6 1947, p14
One of the common perceptions of vintage advertisements, which as a historian of advertising I have always felt obliged to debunk where possible, is that such advertising is less manipulative and more straightforward than advertisements since. In truth this is mostly a function of our training as a society in reading advertisements, which allows for more subtlety. Having said that, you do run across advertisements which openly express sentiments that modern advertising only hints. It is no secret that much fashion is marketed to women with the intention of pleasing the masculine gaze - but we rarely see it spelt out quite so clearly.
Fabric advertisement
Australian Women's Weekly, Sep 27 1947, p8.
Although that blue and white dress is rather fetching, with the change of direction in the stripes from bodice to skirt.

What did you think of these highlights? Which would you want to wear?

1 comment:

  1. I have to say firstly that I really love the photo and illustration together, as you mentioned! It really is great to see how it looks in both forms together.

    As for the fashion itself, that first sundress and the last one with the blue and white stripes would be my picks!