Hello dears! Has it been snowing lately in your neck of the woods? It has in ours. One of my favorite things to do when it is too cold to venture outside (at least for this sensitive-skin girl), other than sewing, or more recently, knitting, is to look at vintage magazines, or reprints of them. So today I thought we could share that activity as we take a look at a few fashion plates from the Winter Pictorial Review magazines of the early 30s.
Brown and red… seems like a delightful combination does it not? Somehow it reminds me of chocolate cherries. I find the Goupy design most intriguing in the way that it fastens with buttons all the way from the front shoulder to the back. I wonder if it could be completely unbuttoned, or if the back half of the bodice “buttons” were merely decorative?
Give me the middle ensemble and I will be indeed set for a weekend in the country! I have found myself living in wools almost constantly this winter, and I can tell you truthfully that cottons, acrylics and other non-wool fibers don’t hold a candle to the warmth of a good wool. I will go about my day shivering if I am wearing a cotton t-shirt, or sweating if I am wearing an acrylic sweater. But if I am wearing one of my lovely wool sweaters with a cotton blouse, comfort is mine! And don’t believe the people who tell you wool is scratchy. I have experienced a bit of scratchiness from one wool sweater of mine, but that is just near the tag at the neckline. Truly good wool won’t be scratchy in nature. I could go on singing the praises of this natural fiber, but I will just have to let the illustrated models convince you of its wonderful properties. 😉
I love learning about what color combinations were popular during the different eras. Take a peek at the “new” color combinations mentioned in the “Colors Take the Place of Black” snippet in the lower left-hand corner. Green and rust… That is actually the color combination I am wearing today. Reminds me of a pumpkin somehow… 😀
But about the gowns above. I find the drapery of model 5539 quite interesting. It seems more worthy of a Spring frock than a Winter one. But picture it in a wool crepe with a lace collar and you will have me excited. Model 5836 is such a practical design. I wonder if the vestee is removable? If it is, it would be a practical frock indeed, for one could make a multitude of vestees to wear with the same frock to give it a fresh new look every time.
Pause for a fashion lesson! These styles are for the “Larger-Hip and Little Figures”. Shall we focus for a moment on why these styles work for these figures? Let’s start with the figure of “Larger-Hip”. Take model 5863 for an example. There is no ornamentation emphasizing the hips. The seaming and the buttons that are on the skirt draw the eye up the figure rather than across it, decreasing the apparent width of the hips. Now move up to the bodice and you see a lovely fluttering collar that increases the volume of the upper half to balance out the width of the hips. This balance is achieved not only by the size of the collar, but also by the color. Darker shades make things appear smaller, while lighter shades make things appear larger. So constructing the collar in a white material causes the upper half to appear as large as the bottom half, balancing out the figure.
Now, for the “Little Figures”. Let us observe model 5849. Starting once again with the skirt, notice how the seaming is more vertical than horizontal. This draws the eye upward, lengthening the figure. And when we reach the bodice, notice how the surplice line is also vertical in nature. The bow is kept in proportion with the size of the wearer, but is not so small as to appear insignificant.
So, the two things to keep in mind for the “Large-Hip” and “Little Figures”: If you are Large-hipped, keep the focus on your upper half. If you are a Little Figure, focus on lines that are vertical, increasing the apparent height, and keep extra details such as bows and drapery in proportion to your figure.
Oh my, would you look at these frocks? The drapery! The fur! I find the nods to both the renaissance and victorian eras intriguing. Model 5834 by Mirande reminds me especially of the styles worn in the time of Henry the VIIIth, what with the small hat, square fur-trimmed neckline and puffed sleeves. And, eep! It apparently was made up in velvet! I would just like to pet that dress, it must have been so soft…
If there is ever a day where I require a 1930s evening gown, you can be sure that I will be making myself model 5866 by Talbot from this page… with some slight modifications of course. The sculptural lines of the seamed skirt, combined with the drapery of the bodice reminds me of a sculpture from Ancient Greece.
At the end of the day I have a love/hate relationship with the styles of the 1930s. Part of me loves the drapery and sculptural lines of the era, while the other part of me questions if it all is just a bit too much? What do you think?
Do you love or hate the styles of the 1930s?
Which dress from these fashion plates is your favorite?
How would you modify one of these dresses to better suit your taste?
Brigid, the Middle Sister and Singer