Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Modes Royale Home Pattern Catalog, Spring and Summer 1969

I've been missing in action for a couple of weeks because I've had visitors staying with me - and no time to post!   However, I'm back in business as of today, and to kick off I bring you this little item from the 1960s:

The illustration on the cover of this pattern catalogue is a reminder that fashion was not always for the young and the iconoclastic - even in the 1960s.  The suit the model is wearing would have been scorned by the dolly bird or the hippie chick, but their mothers or their older sisters would have worn it with pride.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

David Jones catalogue, Summer 1958

Not a dress, but "Kandy Kotton separates".  Presumably the wearer would swap the top or bottom for something else if they got tired of this ensemble.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Stitchcraft, November 1964

Casual wear mid-sixties style: a bulky cardigan and pedal pushers.  Just the thing for walking the dogs!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The 1950s Look by Mike Brown

This is a companion to The 1940s Look by the same author.

While The 1940s Look dealt mainly with the trials of dressing smartly in a time of war and rationing, The 1950s Look covers the much more prosperous following decade.   Because of this its emphasis is more on fashion than the previous volume, which depicted an era where people were more concerned with stretching their resources than self-expression or following the vagaries of fashion.

This is evident in the section of The 1950s Look covering men's fashion as well as the (larger) section covering women's fashions.  The former discusses - among other things - the new foreign influences on British men's fashions: American in the beginning of the decade, and Italian towards the end.   The latter gives a year-by-year overview of women's fashions, comparing what appeared on the catwalks with what appeared in the shops.  In both mens- and womenswear there was a marked trend towards more casual dressing as the 1950s drew to an end.

As in the previous book, The 1950s Look draws on a plethora of original sources, and as well as discussing the fashions of adult men and women it covers hairstyles, makeup, fashionable body types and the clothing of children - and that new phenomenon, teenagers!  All in all it's an excellent reference guide to the 1950s.   Readers should be aware, however, that though it is subtitled "Recreating the Fashions of the Fifties" on the cover, they will have to search for more detailed sources if they really want to get The 1950s Look.

Seven Oaks : Gardners Books, 2008
ISBN 9780955272332

Monday, September 5, 2011

New Idea, May 1903

(There was also an Australian magazine of this name around the same time, but this is an American publication.)

The lady on the cover is dressed fairly plainly for the era, but she is still corseted into the characteristic Edwardian "s-bend" shape and has to hold her skirts up to prevent them trailing on the ground.   Her clothes are not in any sense practical, even though they are less decorated than many from the same period.