Monday, 14 April 2008

1940s Fascination

I was bravely putting on my red lipstick the other day (which I always love doing to team my long dark curled hair), and as a result, I've noticed many people "staring" at me in the underground. I looked around and noticed that most people have neutral make-up and maybe a few having "strong-eye" make-up, but only me wearing a 1940s makeup - clear face, black eyeliner and my lovely deep red lipstick. All of the sudden, I wonder why many people are afraid of the glamous makeup nowadays.

To the best of my knowledge, there was never enough stock of anything from make-up to clothes through out 1940s, but ladies did absolutely their best to look great, even more effort made than many of us today. Also, its hairstyle played a crucial role through out 40s image transformation: from popular shoulder length curls (beautifully framing the face) and page-boy cuts in the early 40s, to that hair was worn high over the forehead in a puff or in rolls in a pompadour in mid 40s. Some factories even installed hair saloms to improve women's long-term attendance. Hats were worn for most occasions, almost always tipped to one side and decorated with bits of net veiling, feathers, ribbons, or brooches. Remember the movie The Black Dahlia, played by Scarlett Johansson, Josh Hartnett, Hilary Swank and Aaron Eckhart. They filmed a great image of 1940s Hollywood.

Indeed, much modern fashion is influenced by 1940s glamour from Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent to Marc Jacobs. Among all, I particularly like one collection – aw07 Gucci by Frida Giannini. The every part of the collection was well polished. Frida Giannini said that "I've been reading a biography of Lee Miller, a woman who started off as a model, became a friend of the surrealists and then a war photographer for British Vogue - a strong woman with two sides to her," she explained, "I was thinking about the dresses of the thirties and forties, with high waists and emphasis on the shoulder." I like Lee Miller who was such a unique character. Below are the 2 pictures taken by her. Can you recognise that the background of the first picture was 1940s Regent Park, London?

  • Lee Miller (06/1940) - Medium Price Fashion, London

  • Lee Miller (1944) - Service Women at a Fashion Salon, Paris

Actually, the dress in the second picture looks really like my Alexander McQueen Dress. Don't you think?

Back to Gucci, Frida Giannini then married Gucci rock-chic image to this ultra feminie polished look seamlessly!

Recently, the forties style strongly influenced the latest show of Diane von Furstenberg. Von Furstenberg teamed her unique colour pattern with forties bow-front blouse and narrowly flaring A-line skirt and presented twisted modern forties.

(aw08 Diane von Furstenberg)

When talking about 40s fashion, I cannot skip one of my favourite fashion icons – Dita Von Teese who is probably the best for 1940s retro dressing-up, but always perfectly mixes modern pieces. Many people have a wrong impression thinking many pretty clothes of Dita are vintage, but actually they are far more modern. I also have kept some of my favourite pieces.

  • aw04 Louis Vuitton - Tartan Jacket

(I team this with my Dolce & Gabbana Black Pencil Skirt)

  • aw04 Louis Vuitton - Black& White Silk Evening Jacket

  • ss05 Louis Vuitton 3/4 Sleeve Summer Jacket

(I love mixing pastel colour. Inside the jacket, it is my Moschino Dress)


Pette said...


Anonymous said...

I really appreciate having a site where I can seek a 1940s look. I need to find a dress for 1940s themed Gala for a fundraising event, we are urged to find a dress that would correspond with the 1940s style..