When we think about Coco Chanel, we think about a woman who launched the first perfume with a designer name (Chanel no. 5), which would also become one of the most popular perfumes of all time. Coco also showed women that there was more to (lingerie) life than corsets, because “fashion is a luxury and luxury should be comfortable”. Cheers to that! Especially since corsets were extremely not-comfortable in those days. She was also the first designer who believed that black could be very classy in a time where black was related to grief and mourning. Now Coco was a woman with a very strong will of her own. So in the 1920s she designed that lovely Little Black Dress that probably hangs in the (imaginary walk-in) closet of a lot of women who read this. Not only her designs, but also her appearance was always glamorous yet minimalistic. However, …
After The Great Depression 1930s, it’s time for the fourth episode of the retro fashion saga: the 1940s! This decade started very sober in the shadow of World War II. Clothing had to be practical. Besides that, a lot of fabrics were not available during war, which had a great impact on the fashion industry in the early 1940s. Fashion was literally a reflection of the war with colors as black, navy, military green and other dark colors.
After the war, the fashion industry wasn’t immediately revived. Actually it took a while to find that feminine look that every woman was looking for after years of the “practical working look”. In the early years, the daily fashion wear was loose and easy. But where there is a will, there is a way. In 1947, Christian Dior introduced “The new look”, including full skirts and “waist hugging” jackets. That new look had …
Nowadays pencil skirts are a basic part of any female (work) wardrobe. This classy fashion item came to life in a very interesting way. Let me take you back to 1908…
In that year two brothers named Wilbur and Orville Wright, allowed the first female passenger, Mrs Berg to their aeroplane. Apparently this was quite a challenge. Mrs Berg was wearing a long skirt. Propellers of the aeroplane rotated very closely to her and the wind was blowing her skirt. To prevent accidents, the two men tied a rope around the ankles of Mrs Berg. And that was the very early beginning of a new fashion trend.
The flight and especially the skirt of Mrs Berg, became a hot topic in newspapers and magazines around the globe. It didn’t take long before designers spotted the pictures and turned it into a new trend with a new name: The hobble skirt. Which was …
After the roaring twenties we’re moving on to the next retro fashion episode: the 1930s! This decade started with “The Great Depression” which effected all aspects in life, including fashion. “The Great Depression” mood was applied into fashion by military inspired shouldered clothing and low, functional heels.
During the 1930s, popular Hollywood actresses like Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Jean Harlow introduced a more feminine, glamorous, sophisticated look. The short dresses from the 1920s flapper look were replaced with waist dresses and backless gowns that emphasized the female curves. For the everyday look, women suits became quite popular.
Also sunbathing became more common and beach fashion was adjusted to this development. Swimwear became briefer and often had a scooped back, so women could show off their tanned backs in the evening.
A trip down to fashionable 1930s lane…
The backless gown | 1930s
Another trip down to retro fashion lane after the 1900-1915 retro trip. This time a flashback to the roaring twenties!
The bob, sequined dresses,head bands, fringe and pearls were keywords in that era.
What made the 1920s so roaring? Well, the jazz music became popular and Flappers made their lifestyle statement.
Flappers were young, western women who “rebelled” against the standard morals of the 1920s era. They “bobbed” their hair, wore short skirts and excessive make-up. Their lifestyle included everything that wasn’t considered acceptable behaviour including drinking, smoking and liberal social morals. They redefined the modern woman in the 1920s. And they did it very stylish…
Ziegfeld girls (showgirls on Broadway) | 1922
One of the very first IT girls…Clara Bow