I set up my very first shoot with Rebecca- Ruth Photography and was asked to come up with some inspiration – what look was I wanting? what theme would the shoot be? I had a few in mind, but we ultimately decided on a 1940s look.
The early 1940s were a time of restriction – fabric was rationed, which meant fashion changed! Hem lines got a bit shorter, extra fabric for decoration was ousted. Fabric choices were limited ( nylon and wool were restricted to military use, so rayon and denim became popular), colours were also limited – there was a lot of browns, greys and patriotic american colours used, like red, white, and blue. Shoulder pads and skirt suits became popular to give women that masculine edge in the workplace – somewhere new for them, as the men were off to war and someone had to take over their jobs! Gone were decorative buttons, extra lapels and pockets. Even nylons were hard to get and girls would instead draw back seams on their legs to create the illusion of stockings.
The 1940s were a time of hardship and struggle but also a unqiue time in fashion. Designers had to be creative with all the restrictions and civilians had to be wise with their purchases. Everything was rationed, including clothing coupons! Clothing was made to last and if it got a hole or lost a button, it was mended; unlike today’s fast fashion, where girls would rather throw out an item with a hole and buys something new. Accessories still payed a big part in ladies fashion in the 40s – hats and purses were a vital part of ones outfit.
The 1940s were very glamorous, in a different way than the 50s. I wanted to do a shoot to celebrate and recreate this look, as sometimes it gets overlooked. I hope I do it justice and we are able to create some lovely photos.
There are a handful of current brands that make gorgeous reproduction 1940s pieces, like Trashy Diva ( the main supplier), HellBunny, and Pinup Girl Clothing. Some are more authentic then others, and some are less expensive as well. But if you can not find something vintage, these brands will do the trick and do it nicely! And if you are in Edmonton, stop by Swish Vintage to scout something authentic, including hats! Most of the pieces I wore in my shoot are from Swish Vintage, including some amazing hats!
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