1940's Fashion

All too often the Forties are cast aside as an ‘unfashionable’ era, which saw style being neglected during the war years. New book 1940s Fashion: The Definitive Sourcebook (Edited by Emmanuelle Dirix, Goodman, currently £21.90 on Amazon finally brings to life the wealth of design and style the decade had to offer.

The third book in the excellent sourcebook series (there are also books on the Twenties and Thirties) provides a brilliant overview of the fashion industry during the decade, including interesting insights from the failed Nazi-dictated folklore fashion in Germany to America’s booming fashion labels of the war years.

If you think the first half of the decade was all make-do-and-mend, then this book is a real eye opener to the clever and inventive clothing produced during rationing. The over 600 images – including photos and fashion illustrations  – show a defiantly glamorous time which merged practicality with innovative prints and fabrics.

The post-war years are documented with many images of  contemporary designs such as Dior, Lucien Lelong, Balmain, Nina Ricci, and Worth, which really evoke the rebirth of Parisian couture.

With chapters including daywear, eveningwear and accessories, the book is easy to read and makes a brilliant guide to dating Forties clothing. The chapter on uniforms, which includes some fantastic images of landgirls, is particularly useful and fascinating.

A must read for anyone interested in the decade.

40s fashion

2 Responses

  1. Maja

    I like this book but not as much as the 30’s one. I do think this one is interesting though as it shows how much the 40s fashion changed in those 10 years and if you look at the illustrations the best thing is the shoes – so fun! But I do think this book is less well made than the others – but still a great buy!

  2. Catherine

    As a 60s lover, the 40s always seems to be the most glamours of years to me! So much effort was made with so little. Such clever and resourceful women!