I recently bagged this Harrods spring fashion revue on eBay, but frustratingly it doesn't specify the year. It's certainly circa 1940, pre- clothes rationing. I'm leaning to 1939, but I'd be interested to hear what you think. I especially love the first page, summarising the season's key looks:
Sailors are right back in the fore -- as the right sort of hat to wear with Spring clothes. Severe or feminine, with veils or without -- the Hat Shop has an abundance of the newest models. Quills galore; flower-pot crowns; exquisite ribbon trimmings. Fine delicate Straws that do not call for detail. Some models to be worn straight on your brow, others with a well-forward tilt.
The evening silhouette is sharply divided, going from one extreme to another -- the ultra feminine billowy skirt and the more sophisticated pencil slim. Colours run riot and are splashed in bold accents to contrast black. For dinner gowns, heavy dull crepe is smart; tight fitting, sometimes with contrast tailored jackets. Or there's taffeta with short sleeves, high necks and full skirts spreading from low hip-lines.
Skirts shorter, cut with cunning flares introduced sometimes above, sometimes below the hip-line. All have some flare -- many, a full sing-back line or knife pleats all round. Jackets of suits are longer and simply cut; fairly conventional with high revers and square shoulders -- but not extravagantly so. Striped or plain wool materials are equally right -- it's all in the style and the youthful look.
Youthful looking swing lines achieved by tight waists; full skirtish skirts -- flaring from the hips or the waist, sometimes fuller at the back than the front. Pastel fur trimmed afternoon coats, lined with a lavish hand. All the time it's line that counts and attention to details like buttons and braiding, pockets and necklines.
The feeling is for soft, very feminine frocks with full skirts, draped shirred bodices and breathlessly tight waists. Demure in navy blue with frilly petticoats or sleek-fitting in black with attractive lace yokes. If your frock has short sleeves it will probably have a little jacket to go with it, most likely long sleeved bolero or cape.
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