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Down With Christian Dior and His New Look! <br />(Rob Wagner's Script, 1947)Down With Christian Dior and His New Look!
(Rob Wagner's Script, 1947)
This West-coast fashion critic believed that the fashions of Christian Dior stood firmly in opposition to the optimistic, Twentieth Century casual elegance of Claire McCardell (1905 – 1958) and Adrian (1903 – 1959), preferring instead to spin

"the feminine figure in the unconventional manner, trying to make her look good where she ain't. He seeks the ballet dancer illusion - natural, rounded shoulders, too weak to support a struggling world...Her waist is pinched in an exaggerated indentation, the better to emphasize her padded hips...There are butterfly sleeves, box pockets, belled jackets, and barreled skirts, suggesting something like a Gibson girl, or whatever grandmother should have worn."

Click here to read more 1940s articles about Christian Dior and his "New Look".

Paris Is Back! <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1946)Paris Is Back!
(Collier's Magazine, 1946)
Having no foresight as to the fashion juggernaut that would commence in one year with the appearance of Christian Dior's New Look, the journalist puts all her credibility in one basket by declaring that all eyes are on the French fashion designer Madame Marcelle Dormoy. Much ink is spilled concerning the bleakness that clouded fashionable Paris during the occupation and the difficulty all fashion houses experienced in 1946 securing suitable fabric for their creations (at black-market prices).
The writer recovered some of her street-cred anticipating the meteoric career return of the well-loved French film actress Edwige Feuillère (1907 – 1998), who is personified herein as the epitome of French Glamour returned.

Click here to read a 1946 article about Le Corbusier.

Adele Simpson and Her Fashions <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1945)Adele Simpson and Her Fashions
(Collier's Magazine, 1945)
On the matter of the American fashion designer Adele Simpson (1904 - 1995), it must be remembered that she was a prominent player in American fashion for many decades; a woman who had been awarded both a Coty Award (1949) as well as a Neiman Marcus Award (1946). Her creations were highly sought after by the crowned heads of both Europe and Hollywood.

Click here to read about wartime fabric rationing in the 1940s.

The Fashion Group <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1948)The Fashion Group
(Collier's Magazine, 1948)
At the time this article appeared on the pages of COLLIER'S MAGAZINE, the Fashion Group was already over twenty years old and in need of more office space.

Established in 1928 by the crowned-heads of the American fashion industry, it was decided that the dominate fashionistas 'needed a forum, a stage, or a force to express and enhance a widening awareness of the American fashion business and of women’s roles in that business." This article points out that there were present in that room on that historic day a smattering of women who toiled in the vineyards as fashion journalists and collectively it was understood that the two groups very much relied upon each other. The Fashion Group was established in order to:

"judge trends by watching sales figures, which indicate which fashions are on the wane and which are gaining favor. They travel around to see what we do, and therefore, what we need."

Today, the Fashion Group has offices in every major American city as well as branches in the fashion capitols of Europe, South America and Asia.

Forties Ski Mode <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1948)Forties Ski Mode
(Collier's Magazine, 1948)
Clipped from the pages of a 1948 issue of COLLIER'S MAGAZINE were these four color pictures of skiers loafing about the slopes in a place that had just recently been discovered for such purposes; it was called Aspen, in Colorado.

You will no doubt notice that there is no real difference between the skiing togs worn by either gender; both wore only wool, jaunty ski sweaters and pegged trousers.

Click here if you would like to read the entire article about Aspen in 1948; there are additional color photographs.

Goodbye to the Pompadour <br />(Click Magazine, 1944)Goodbye to the Pompadour
(Click Magazine, 1944)
A late-breaking news report from the fashion editors at Click Magazine announced that the pompadour hairstyle has been given the brush-off: grab your combs, girls, because parts are back in style...

During the Second World War, hair dye was not simply used by women;click here to read about the men who needed it.

The Hats of 1947 <br />(Collier's Magazine, 1947)The Hats of 1947
(Collier's Magazine, 1947)
With the exception of the broad-brimmed sun hat pictured in the attached fashion editorial, you will find that women's hats were growing smaller throughout the course of the Forties and they tended to sit farther back on the cranium, requiring hairdos that would accommodate and complement these creations.

The Sally Victor hat composed of red cherries took its inspiration directly from the bizarre, comical costumes worn by the actress Carmen Miranda. This fruit theme was typical of many post-war milliners. The six other hats in the piece were by two American designers: Lilly Dache and John-Frederics.

Click here to see what men's summer hats were like during this period.

College Fashion <br />(Look Magazine, 1941)College Fashion
(Look Magazine, 1941)
Dusty, Peggy and Jean were just three of the co-eds that made up the six percent of American women who attended college in 1941 - and that's all that was required of them in order for the trio to sample fashion's latest wares and sound-off in the attached Fall fashion review. Go figure.

Swimwear <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1947)Swimwear
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1947)
The only big fashion innovation popular enough to share the 1947 headlines with Dior's "New Look" involved the evolution in women's swimwear; most notably the Bikini. The attached single page article pertains to all the new fabrics being deployed in ladies beachwear and all their assorted coverups:

"Sand-and-sun fashions for this summer are perter and briefer than ever before. Although the typical bathing suit covers just about 2.5 square feet of a swimmer's anatomy, a costume-look for the beach is achieved with a companion cape, skirt of short coat... Favored fabrics are those made to ride the waves. Knitted wool shows up in both classic and unusual designs. Colors are softer and muted. Black and blue appear most often, with cider, gray and smudge the 'high-style' shades."

Click here to learn about women's fashions from the Summer of 1934•

The Short Hair of the Late Forties <br />(The Diamondback, 1949)The Short Hair of the Late Forties
(The Diamondback, 1949)
"The shingle cut, the feather trim, the French Scissors cut or the cherub cut - no matter which you choose - a short hairstyle flatters your face.... When the American college girl first began to clip her long tresses, the general reaction was one of general horror. Now that the surprise has worn off, the various advantages of short hair become apparent: trim locks are cool, easy to take care of, smart looking and stylish."
Campus Fashions for Autumn <br />(The Diamondback, 1949)Campus Fashions for Autumn
(The Diamondback, 1949)
"Designing women are working toward the return of the chemise dress, the raccoon coat, the slicker rain coat, the ankle bracelet, multiple chains of beads, etc. Anything they have forgotten, your imagination may safely supply."

"Important in high fashion this year are the scissors skirt, long and impossibly tight, the winged collar, featuring a neckline that juts off at a terrific angle, the bat collared suit - which looks more like a cartwheel than a costume. One can happily assume that these creations will never take on the campus.... Safer predictions are that the campus co-ed will take to tweed suits, especially those trimmed in velvet..."

The Birth of the Slip Dress <br />(Quick Magazine, 1949)The Birth of the Slip Dress
(Quick Magazine, 1949)
One Autumn evening in 1949, New York fashion model Anna-Lee Daniels and her gay boyfriend, Henry, took it upon themselves to demonstrate just how chic ladies' undergarments were becoming. Recognizing that the latest slips were so minimal in their design - appearing much like the dresses flappers were often seen wearing back in the day It was soon decided that the two should step out for a night on the town - with young Anna-Lee sporting the slip - just to see if anyone caught on.
Theatre Hats by Lilly Daché <br />(Quick Magazine, 1949)Theatre Hats by Lilly Daché
(Quick Magazine, 1949)
Lilly Daché (1898 – 1989) was the most famous milliner of her era; before retiring in the late Sixties (when hats were finally shown the door) she had accomplished much in the realm of fashion - designing dresses, lingerie, gloves, bags, jewelry and hostess gowns. While in league with the Hollywood costume designer Travis Banton, her lids adorned many of the craniums of the most glamorous women ever to grace a movie screen.
Thoughts on Blouses <br />(Pathfinder Magazine, 1947)Thoughts on Blouses
(Pathfinder Magazine, 1947)
By the time 1947 was coming to a close, an enormous shift in the fashion winds had taken place that altered the silhouette of the fashionable woman. Waists were narrow, hips were padded - and the hemline had dropped as much as twelve inches. "The New Look" out of Paris dictated the appearances of suits and evening wear, but blouses were left out of the revolution - everyone had to figure it out for themselves and hope that the couturiers from across the sea would come to the rescue the following season.

The Paris Winter Collection <br />(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)The Paris Winter Collection
(Newsweek Magazine, 1945)
"After years of material shortage, the accent is definitely on the feminine, with all of its flounces... A look at all the collections shows that black is the outstanding color for afternoon and dinner. Drapings, wrappings and swathings that girdle the hips are the outstanding line. The favored fabrics are velvet , velveteen, corduroy (used horizontally, as are other striped materials) monotone tweeds, Kashas (a twill-weave fabric of wool mixed with Cashmere), and some Scotch plaids."
Ogden Nash on Fashion <br />(The American Magazine, 1940)Ogden Nash on Fashion
(The American Magazine, 1940)
In one of his other verses poet Ogden Nash (1902 – 1971) wrote that "women are not female men". In the attached poem he expanded on that thought to a greater degree as he observed women and their approach to fashion.