Tag Archives: 40s fashion

My Mad Men Day Dream

Don’t call these vintage reproductions. Trashy Diva brings your ideal vintage dress dream to a 2010 reality!

I’m a vintage clothing hound.  I’ve been collecting vintage clothing for nearly 15 years, which means my collection has been pruned to perfection.  Every vintage dress I have left is an absolute stunner, a perfect representative of my favorite silhouettes and fabrics from the 40s to the 70s.  The only thing I’m missing at this point is the perfect vintage Halston…

Nevertheless, I can’t resist adding these insanely perfect Trashy Diva dresses to my closet.  These beauties are the best vintage-inspired dresses I’ve seen.  Trashy Diva gives you a chance to sport the retro (and yet never costumey) look without any of the hassles that come with owning & wearing real vintage (short bodice lengths, seams that have a tendency to split easily, the fear of moths attacking your favorite 40s wool rayon frock and that dreaded dryrot!).

And good vintage is just so hard to find now a days.  Most of it got consumed in the vintage revival of the mid to late nineties and when you can find a vintage dress that calls your name, it’s so rarely in your size.  And condition will cost you nowadays.  You don’t just happen to come across 50s polished cotton party dresses for $4 at Good Will anymore…

Trashy Diva embodies the true spirit of the vintage wearer (I’m looking at you, girl in the vintage dress!): a love of beautiful prints, an appreciation of the often superior construction of vintage dresses and a fondness for the silhouettes of the 40s and 50s.

These dresses are absolutely spot-on from the perfect prints and color choices, like the dead-on 40s celadon green of the Obi dress (not to mention its perfect chrysanthemum print) to the 40s/50s silhouettes re-interpreted for a wide range of modern body-types to the choice of truly fine fabrics (Katie wears the Charlotte Dress in Retro Floral fashioned out of heavy-weight silk crepe de chine!).

And of course it doesn’t hurt that they all make us look so happy.  We had to place a second order so all the Minxies could grab their dream dress and still have a full size run left… for you, dear customer, should get first pick.

I’ll be taking home three.  And all of them are worthy to join the collection.

Hover over the pictures to see prices.

Vintage Style Alert: the 40s

If the Paris RTW runways were any indication, the 40s and the 80s will be the influential decades on today’s looks. Personally, I’m more interested in the forties look.

40s wartime look

40s photo from debutanteclothing.com

First some background… There are two primary silhouettes for the forties (both feature nipped waists): the wartime look of strong shoulders with a straight or pencil skirt and the post-world war 2 “New Look” from Christian Dior. The masculine wartime look was born of fabric rationings and the unconscious need for one’s clothing to match the wartime state of mind as well as women’s increasing presence in society and the work force. Rationing kept looks simple – absolutely no full skirts. Clothing was utilitarian in nature while still flattering & featuring the female form (hence the nipped waists and slim skirts). Suits were more masculine with broad, padded shoulders reminiscent of military garb or, for the handy home-maker, refashioned from men’s suit jackets and featured strong, nearly square, shoulders.

Then in the spring of 1947, Christian Dior presented the Corolle line (more popularly known as the New Look).  This new look was a dramatic departure from the austerity of wartime looks, characterized by soft, sloping shoulders, fitted waists (often detailed with peplums) and the fullest of full skirts.

photo of the Le Bar suit from Dior

photo of the Le Bar suit from Dior

This New Look was both revered and criticized.  Women loved the contrast of a more feminine way of dressing after the rather utilitarian stylings of wartime-wear but the look was criticized as too extravagant in a post-rationing world.

Want to wear the 40s soft shouldered peplum look without having to find the perfect piece from the 40s (and believe you me, good pieces from the 40s are few and far between by now…)?  Check out this French Connection top for $88 that we have at our downtown location.  The print is classic forties floralesque with smocking at the waist that gives that peplum look.  Pair it with wide-legged trousers or a slim fitting pencil skirt for a modern take on the 40s look.

French Connection $

photo credit: frenchconnection.com

Paris Fashion Week: 1940s Fashion “Re-deaux”

Obvious statement #356:  Fashion runs in cycles.  So what looks came around again at Paris Fashion Week?  This year the fall ready to wear shows reached back to the 40s and the 80s, sometimes at the same time.  I remember the 80s too well to really be ready to don those looks again, but the 40s has always been one of my favorite decades and I absolutely adore the 40s looks that made their way onto the runways.  Check out Jean-Paul Gauthier and Balmain and Emmanuel Ungaro for some primo 80s flash & trash.

Dries Van Noten and the “Ike” jacket

From wikipedia:

Eisenhower jacket

An Eisenhower jacket, or “Ike” jacket, is a type of military uniform blouse, or shortened coat, terminating in a waistband. Introduced by U.S. Army General and Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe Dwight D. Eisenhower, his innovative design initially appeared in 1943, the idea based on the British Battle Dress coat… Known as the Wool Field Jacket M-1944, the coat was originally meant to be worn as part of the combat uniform, but GI’s saved it for dress wear. The jacket was only worn by troops outside the Continental United States or those returning to the United States from overseas duty. It was often referred to as an overseas jacket. Later examples were manufactured in the shortened form and became widely popular among U.S. Army officers and enlisted men as standard additions to their service uniform.

Dries Von Noten’s Ike jackets were of course more colorful and here the military look struck the viewer as a bit of utilitarian glamour.  I can almost see Katherine Hepburn or Rita Hayworth wearing this to the set.

Dries Van Noten Eisenhower jackets

More 40s fashions on the Paris Fall runway