Monday, December 15, 2008

Divas A La Depression Era

As our economy changes daily, and we are reminded of what life was like during the 1930's depression, we see many adjustments taking place. Even in the world of high fashion, designers are embarking on reflecting a new mentality in their lines.

The fall 2008 season saw many designers taking 1930's styling to 21st Century audiences. What were 1930's styles like for women?

While Twenties fashions downplayed busts and hips under column shaped
dresses and mannish pants, women of the Thirties clamored to embrace
their curves. Hemlines dropped dramatically to reflect the more somber
mood of the post-crash economy, and daytime suits and dresses were
neatly tailored, featuring wide shoulders and nipped waistlines to
create a slender hourglass silhouette. Fabrics like rayon and fine wool
crepes draped intriguingly across the thighs and fell into pretty
pleats. Evening gowns were cut on the bias to emphasize a woman’s
sensuous shape. By day, ladies of the 1930s wore sweet, feminine styles
in muted hues, and by night, they favored sheer glamour, with shimmery
metallics and shiny silks.

As Retro Radar noted in their column, even Baby Phat and Galliano featured a return to the feminine and subdued tones in their fall fashion lines. Fabrics cut on the bias, longer and fuller hems, curvy shapes accentuating hips, and sheer and shiny materials were key elements of this retro look.

How shall the fashionista of 2008 survive this era of economic conservatism? Probably in much the same way as our predecessors. We'll not give up our feminism for lack of money. We'll appreciate fine fabrics, perhaps re-using what we already have in our closets or baskets of hoarded materials. We'll home-sew or create our own looks. We'll use accessories to fill in the gap for luxury items.

Our gloves will be trimmed with ruffle. Our coats adorned with flowers or soft, flowing scarves. Our dresses will be shaped with vintage belts. Our purses will pose as a feminine fashion statement, perhaps beaded or made of velvet.

We will get creative with what we have, and we will use fashion to feel good.

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