Sunday, 30 August 2009

The Decade in Shoes: 1940s

Ooooh shoes! Let the pictues do the talking.

November 1940

May 1941

March 1942

April 1943

March 1944

April 1945

December 1946

November 1947

October 1948

June 1949

Friday, 28 August 2009

Gents Classic De-Mob Suit 1945

Have just watched The Way We Live a 1946 docu-drama about the plans for re-building Plymouth after the war. There are lots and lots of real 40s clothes on screen - for men and women.

Above and below is Peter Willes the lynchpin of the film in his de-mob suit. A classic double breasted jacket, trousers with turn-ups, light coloured shirt with stiff detatchable collar and diagonally striped slim tie. He's also wearing oxford shoes. He's outside Alkit in Charing Cross Road.

Two shirts with collars, studs and cufflinks were issued upon demob as well as a tie, raincoat, trilby and 2 pairs of socks. A classic fashion note of the 40s and 50s was the arch in the tie below a small knot. This is achieved by tying the knot at a 45 degree angle to the body.

Apart from Peter Willes the whole cast of the film were local people from Plymouth with no acting experience, as a consequence their acting abilities vary considerably from very natural to downright wooden. Two girls representing the youth/women of the town are very good. Alice, played by Patsy Scantlebury, is shown here

in a late wartime 2 piece polka-dot dress, her younger sister Patricia, played by June Riddols, is wearing a stunning late 30s crepe dress with a novelty print and laced neck, unfortunately this is all we see of it.

This film, directed by Jill Craigie and financed by Rank, is a fascinating look at real life in the immediate post-war period. Including a look around the American prefab houses, utility furniture, fashions and socialising opportunities for young people (apparently limited to dancing on Plymouth Hoe) and fortunately not too many plummy accents.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Hats Shoes & Bags Summer 1939

Pages from the Summer 1939 La Samaritaine Department Store catalogue.

The store first opened in the 1860s and the buildings were gradually modernised with the river side buliding (pictured) being finished in the 1933, Inernally thee were various different arcitectural styles. The most notable being an Art Nouveau atrium. The building is currently closed for structural work but will probably open again in 2011.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Handbags and Shoes 1938

I previously mentioned that shoe styles of the late 1930s are my favourite. Here are a few styles with handbags to see you through the day. If you were at all fashionable then you would dress more formally as the day wore on.

May 1938. Click for larger picture.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Neosens 1930s Brogues Revisited

Now On Sale!!!!!

The Neosens Women's Rococo 747 have the classic open pump style of the 1910s and 20s with 3 buckled straps and a stacked louis heel.
They come in brown, black, white, Manzanilla (cream), Sorbet (soft pink), Lavanda (yes you guessed), and Ceniza (Grey). Sizes 36-41.

Neosens Women's Rococo 748

A classic brogue with cutout work on the vamp again in the same lovely colours and sizes. Both styles are all leather construction with a non-slip rubber insert into the sole.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Polka Dot Couture #2 Fath 1954

Chic at the beach

Jacques Fath polka dot swimsuit, parasol and headband from 1954.
Photo by Henry Clarke, model Suzy Parker.

Today is the first day this year when I have felt that a dip might be quite nice, if I could get my hands on this ensemble there would be no might about it.

Friday, 7 August 2009

1950s Rayne Stiletto Shoes

I've just realised how long it is since I posted about any of my Rayne shoes, so to make up here are 3 pairs.

I would guess that this first pair of black leather and suede sandals date from the first year that Rayne produced stilettos. The design looks typical of about 1953 except for the heel which is far too slender for the rest of the shoe. The front part of the shoe is quite substantial and a slim french heel would have balanced the design much better.

Dark brown leather day shoes embossed to look like lizard with a grossgrain bow. the pointed toe is in perfect balance with the stiletto heel. Late 1950s

Black suede evening shoes with a black and cinnamon satin band over the vamp of both shoes and on the right shoe only a cockade of black satin and cinnamon ribbon. Late 1950s.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Horrockses Fashions; The 40s

Spring 1948. Click for bigger picture.

Horrockses Fashions Ltd a subsidiary of Horrockses Cottons was set up in April 1946. At this time the Cotton Board was heavily promoting cotton as a fashion material, it had been seen very much as a poor relation to silk, linen and rayon in the 30s. Most fashion houses were including some cotton dresses in their collections in the immediate post-war years.

Carol Marsh star of Brighton Rock. Click for bigger picture.

Patricia Roc British Movie Star promotes Horrockses Fashions Spring 1947. See Picture Post scan below. Click for bigger picture.

As far as I can work out the first collection of Horrockses ready-to-wear was available in April 1947. The publicity emphasised the glamour of cotton and various film stars were employed to advertise the frocks.

Picture Post Article May 1947 Page 1. Click for bigger picture.

Picture Post Article May 1947 Page 2. Click for bigger picture.

Picture Post Article May 1947 Page 3. Click for bigger picture.

The fabric designs were very modern, the designers including Alastair Morton, Betty Newmarch, Martha Pirn and John Tullis visited the Paris collections to see the latest fashions. Alastair Morton's designs had many stylised flowers and horizontal stripes, a style which lasted well into the 50s. The success of the designs soon had other dress manufacturers making copies.

1948-ish housecoat

Horrockses dresses were made up at Ivy Mill Manchester where Kurt Lowit transfered the paper designs onto fabric. It wasn't only the designs on the fabric that made Horrockses dresses specail but also the quality of the cotton and the finish to make them crisp and easily ironed. Design details such as bows on sleeves which could be undone and ironed flat also appealed to the customer.

1948-ish dress, this may be a Horrockses fabric but the label in the dress is 'Atlantic Regd' I rescued the dress from a skip a few years ago.