• shawn underwood

Simply Amazing Fashion Runway During The Blitz

While I was researching 1940s fashion I came across a fascinating short film clip. Dresses by Edward Molyneux, Norman Hartnell, Victor Stiebel, Charles Creed, Digby-Morton, Worth, and Peter Russell. The film was part of a home front drive to highlight Britain’s ingenuity in wartime. Filmed by Jack Cardiff, who is best remembered for his beautiful Technicolor cinematography in the films of Powell & Pressburger. Credit for posting this video goes to https://glamourdaze.com/2020/11/1941-fashion-show-ai-enhanced-technicolor-film.html


It’s an amazing time capsule of wartime 1940’s fashion. Just look at the gorgeous hats and incredibly detailed 'ready to wear' and 'ready to dress-up wear'. After having read numerous accounts from 'Mass Observation Diaries', I'm aware that the British made a very stoic attempt to keep life as normal as possible during WWII. The national diary-keeping project was started during 1937 but continued on during WWII leaving an invaluable record of the people's day to day history. People still carried on with their day to day jobs (if they were employed) and picked their way around the rubble to walk to their place of work. (No petrol)If you are interested in life during WW2 in England, then I would recommend this book:

We Are At War: The Remarkable Diaries of Five Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times, which used the Mass Observation archive at the University of Sussex to follow five diarists throughout the early years of World War II.

So back to the fashion show. Yes people who could afford these fashions wore them out to restaurants and dinner-clubs DESPITE the possibility of bombs falling and sirens blaring. Listen to until the end of the fashion runway show and you will hear a siren going off. Generally the English (especially Londoners) were bombed at night so people felt fairly 'safe' during the day — from bombs anyway. However it seems that citizens became weary of the war and started going out at night despite threats from the sky. Does all this sound familiar? We here in the USA are struggling with our own war. People are becoming weary and lonesome. This isn't a political blog so that is all I'm going to say about that!

You will find that two of my favorite subjects are WWII—anything WWII and achieving clean white laundry with my vintage throwback methods. We get a lot of inspiration for Swirl Vintage from 1940s vintage styles.

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