Friday, 30 April 2010

Soixante-Quinze (The 75)

As with many other cocktails, the origins and early ingredients of The 75 is surrounded by doubt and contradiction. However, it is generally agreed that it was invented by French Flying Ace
Raoul Lufbery, who flew with the Lafayette Escadrille in the First World War. It is named after a piece of French artillery, the 75mm howitzer because it  was considered to be a very potent drink.

2 dashes Grenadine
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/6 gill Calvados (25ml)
2/6 gill Dry Gin (50ml)
Shake well over ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Other variations have champagne, cognac and absinthe as ingredients. This version from "Cocktails How to Mix Them" by "Robert" is more pleasant than potent (and pink).

Thursday, 29 April 2010

1930s Soap Opera Part 3

And the moral of the story is.... don't wash your baby with Knight's Castile, someone will steal her.
Click for full size pictures.

December 1939 and August 1940

September 1940

December 1940

Saturday, 24 April 2010

1930s Soap Opera Part 2

The exciting saga of Norma Knight continues, don't get in a lather about the baby.
Click for full size pictures.

July 1939 and August 1939

October 1939 and November 1939

Thursday, 22 April 2010

1930s Soap Opera Part 1

Fab comic strip adverts for Knight's Castile Soap just for you Miss Matilda.
Four exciting episodes starring Miss Norma Knight and Mr Humphrey Carson.
Click for full size pictures.

July 1938 & Dec 1938

April 1939 & May 1939

Good clean fun.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Austerity Rules 1942 Part 2

Dress restrictions had been accumulating gradually since the beginning of the war, they were mostly due to lack of materials such as straw for hats and silk for stockings and the disappearance of pre-war stocks from the shelves of shops. The austerity rules were much more drastic.

Some of the rules were as follows:
No dress may have more than 2 pockets or 5 buttons.
There must be no more than 6 seams in a skirt.
A skirt must have no more than 2 inverted/box pleats or 4 knife pleats.
No ornamental stitching.
Ruching, tucks and gauging may be used for fullness only.
There must be no embroidery, applique, braid, quilting, beading, sequins, drawn threadwork or lace trimming.
Tiered skirts, epaulettes, capes, turn back cuffs, imitation pockets, zip fasteners and buttons for ornament were banned.
Hems may only be 2 inches deep.
Dresses may not be made of lace or net.
Coats may not be trimmed with fur or velvet.
Blouses and lingerie may not be embroidered or lace trimmed.

Apart from saving materials, the idea of the rules was to limit the time it took to make a garment by eliminating time-consuming procedures. Much of the garment making workforce had been conscripted and many retailers had shut down. Long factory produced runs of a limited number of designs was the most economical way to make large numbers of items. Needless to say, there weren't enough made even then.

Home dressmakers were the only people who didn't have to stick strictly to the rules, though the dress patterns they bought were designed within the system. As they were making clothes in their own time they could add embroidery or the extra button if they wished.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Austerity Rules 1942 Part 1

The austerity rules introduced in Britain during World War 2 were a series
of taboos on the use of designs and materials in clothes. Unlike Utility they applied to ALL clothes made either by mass-manufacturers or country dressmakers.
(Utility was a standard for cloth manufacturers, from which any design could be made
until the austerity rules were introduced in summer 1942). There was no austerity mark unlike the CC41 for Utility.

Click for bigger picture

In August 1942 Picture Post ran an article 'Austerity Clothes for the Fourth Year of the War', which compared the new-style clothes with those worn for the same occasions pre-war. However, the article not only shows us the simpler styles but also illustrates the new attitudes to wearing more casual clothes. Although it was considered patriotic to look ones' best and be smartly turned out, to be overdressed was likely to cause verbal abuse.

Click for bigger picture

The introduction of the blackout and the start of the blitz also imposed practical restrictions, if you still owned an evening dress it was likely to be pre-war and remodelled or a simple dinner dress.
While brides in suits were a common sight due to short-notice 48 hour leaves and lack of coupons, many brides chose to hire a white dress. Gainsborough Film Studios had hundreds to choose from.

Friday, 16 April 2010

The Avengers: How to Succeed at Murder 1966

A black and white dress with Vee shape plastron worn over the
roll neck jumper

Plastic coat, checked trousers and Rayne boots.

That jumper again, windowpane check skirt and Rayne shoes.

Windowpane check jacket, plain trousers and Rayne boots.

The Avengers: Honey for the Prince 1966

Slim dress with high waist and lace bodice, tie shawl and Rayne shoes.

AS above.

Mrs Peel in the Dance of the 6 Veils (apparently she had a poor education).

Mrs Peel looking for trouble.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Don't Just Crown It, Stephen Jones It

Mr Jones hits the spot again with 'The Spa', one of
4 designs for Royal Ascot this year.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The Avengers: The House That Jack Built 1966

White reefer jacket and roll neck jumper

Worn with plain trousers and Rayne boots.

The Avengers: A Sense of History 1966

the same jacket, jumper and boots worn with checked wool trousers.

Mrs Peel as Robin Hood.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Rayne Sandals 1940s

Rayne sandals made of Indian cotton with an elasticated slingback c1940.

White suede platform slingbacks with mesh covered cutouts on the vamp c1947.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Blue Monday

I was getting my wardrobe reorganised for spring the other day and it struck me just how many of my vintage dresses are blue. Here is a sampling of the fabrics and I'll try to get the whole frocks photographed soon.

Click for full size

1 Modern Turquoise fabric made into a 1939 Hollywood Olivia de Havilland dress pattern.
2 Late 40s Horrockses cotton button down dress rather tatty -it had been used for decorating presumably as it has a paint splash.
3 Mid-late 40s Tevesco atomic silk dress, looks like 1947ish as the skirt is long but not full.
4 Early 40s navy cotton shirtwaist with leaf print and pockets.
5 Late 30s sheer chiffon pintuck dress, bought in the 80s and much worn then, now rather delicate, would originally have had a matching slip, so very 1939.
6 Utility CC41 Camiknickers, you won't be seeing me modelling these!
7 Late 30s rayon dress, another rather delicate number, much loved.
8 Vintage fabric made into 50s style dress and bolero, I think I used 3 patterns to get the dress I wanted.
9 Late 30s cotton dress with fruit/flower print, my latest purchase, I'm currently making a crochet belt to match it.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

"Clothes are never a frivolity, they always mean something." James Laver

Summer 1939 Part 4: Clothes.

Co-ordinating accessories.

Click for full size

Click for full size

Heim's cool and casual evening frock

Almost a tee shirt

Blue linen suit with white accessories

Checked silk dress by Lelong.

For him...

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out in the Midday Sun

Summer 1939 Part 3: General

Hog Island beach holiday

Hog Island, Bahamas now known as Paradise Island

Click for full size

Click for full size

Friday, 2 April 2010

Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon...

"Summer afternoon - Summer afternoon... the two most beautiful words in the English language"
Henry James

Summer 1939 Part 2: Shoes

Advertising brochure for Dunlop Shoes June 1939.