1940s

The hardships which were caused by a world at war dictated the fashions of the 1940s. Once again Hollwood had a major influence of the style of everyday women who were encoraged to look good despite rationing and shortages to keep up morale.

7 Unsolved Vintage Mysteries and Disappearances

7 Unsolved Vintage Mysteries and Disappearances

I think the tragic disappearance of Flight MH370 is probably pre-occupying all of us at the moment and it goes without saying that all of our thoughts and prayers go out to those missing and the families of all involved. The seemingly impossibly long wait for news got me thinking about some past mysteries and(…)

Vintage Style Icons: The Ice-Cold Blonde

Vintage Style Icons: The Ice-Cold Blonde

Hitchcock’s fair-haired heroines are perhaps those that spring to mind when you think of an ice-cold blonde. They was certainly the type of woman Hitch fixated on: beautiful women who were cold and distant on the exterior but full of passion underneath. However the ice-cold blonde has been around for a lot longer than that,(…)

1940s Movie Icons: Ida Lupino

1940s Movie Icons: Ida Lupino

Ida Lupino was a British actress and director who appeared in over 50 movies as well as becoming a pioniering and prolific director. She started her movie career working out of Teddington Studios in England in the early 1930s and moved to Hollywood in 1933. She continued to work in Hollywood throughout the 30s and(…)

My Vintage Take on the Oscars

My Vintage Take on the Oscars

The news this morning is filled with the pictures and winners from last night’s Academy Award ceremony – well, that and the slightly terrifying crisis in Crimea. As always the dresses were gorgeous (at the Oscars that is – I’m woefully under-informed about dresses in the Ukraine) and Jennifer Lawrence continued her Awards tradition of(…)

1940s Style Icons: Veronica Lake

1940s Style Icons: Veronica Lake

Veronica Lake was one of the most popular movie stars in the early 1940s. She made her name paired with Alan Ladd and was known for playing sexy femme fatale roles.  The image of her looking out from beneath her trademark hairstyle – the peek-a-boo fringe (said to be the inspiration for Jessica Rabbit’s hair)(…)

Beauty and the Blitz: How to Wear 1940s Makeup

Beauty and the Blitz: How to Wear 1940s Makeup

Beauty in the 1940s was a strange mixture of glamour and practicality. Despite harsh rationing and shortages of makeup and soap women were encouraged to look their best to help keep up morale. Here’s my guide to getting your 1940s makeup right. Let me know if you think I’ve missed anything out! Foundation / Base(…)

Quotes: Jane Russell on Men

Quotes: Jane Russell on Men

I like a man who can run faster than I can – Jane Russell I love Jane Russell‘s attitude. Not that I imagine many men would have been running away from her as she was one of the biggest sex symbols of the 40s and 50s (and not just because of her magnificent assets). My(…)

Sonja Henie: The Esther Williams of Ice Skating

Sonja Henie: The Esther Williams of Ice Skating

With the Winter Olympics in full swing it’s a great time to talk about 1930s skating and movie star Sonja  Henie. Henie was a Norwegian skater who won pretty much everything in ice-skating from 1927 to 1936 back in the days when figure skating competitions took place on frozen lakes rather than ice rinks (see(…)

Beauty Solutions of the 1940s: Wartime Workarounds

Beauty Solutions of the 1940s: Wartime Workarounds

Beauty throughout the 1940s was dominated by wartime shortages and rationing. Clothing rationing ended in 1949 and soap rationing in 1950 so a real ‘make do and mend’ attitude was needed to get through the post-war years (sweets rationing didn’t end until 1953!). I remember my grandma telling me stories how they had to paint(…)

Vintage Perfumes: The Fragrances that Defined Each Decade

Vintage Perfumes: The Fragrances that Defined Each Decade

Nothing can transport you back in time like a fragrance. They say that your sense of smell is the most powerful and evocative sense, and it’s true: Chanel No. 5 will forever remind me of my mum, Armani pour Homme is my husband, and Brut – well that reminds me of staying out late as(…)

Screen Idols: Gary Cooper (Super-duper)

Screen Idols: Gary Cooper (Super-duper)

How can I talk about Gary Cooper without humming Irving Berlin’s Putting on the Ritz? Dressed up like a million dollar trooper Tryin’ hard to look like Gary Cooper (Super duper) That must have been the first time I heard Gary Cooper’s name, from the lips of Fred Astaire watching a Saturday afternoon movie on(…)

1940s Fashions: The Snood

1940s Fashions: The Snood

The snood (rhymes with food) is a type of hairnet or scarf which was particuarly popular with factory girls during World War II. It kept their long hair out of the way of machinery and was worn by lots of celebrities including wartime sweetheart Vera Lynn. You can even see the ever-glamorous Rita Hayworth wearing(…)

Top 25 Greatest Female Screen Legends

Top 25 Greatest Female Screen Legends

Some time ago the AFI (that’s the American Film Institute) released a list of the top 50 greatest screen legends from the Classic Hollywood era: 25 male and 25 female stars. I’m not sure exactly what their criteria were for reaching the top spot, but they classified a screen legend as an actor or actress:(…)

1930s Style Icons: Bette Davis

1930s Style Icons: Bette Davis

Bette Davis’ Hollywood career spanned an incredible six decades, but it was her style in the 1930s and 40s combined with her uncompromising movie roles which cemented her as a movie icon. She was no classic Hollywood beauty, and flatly refused to comply with the ideals of the studios, once claiming: ‘Hollywood wanted me to(…)

Classic Hollywood: The Art of the Eyebrow

Classic Hollywood: The Art of the Eyebrow

There really was an art to eyebrow shaping back in Hollywood’s Golden Era. When each young actress had their big Hollywood studio makeover their brows were plucked and teased (and sometimes even removed and pencilled in) in the process of turning them from a regular girl to a screen goddess. Each leading lady was able(…)

June Allyson

June Allyson

1940s studio publicity photo of MGM actress June Allyson for the film Music for Millions (1944). I love her stripey blouse, it’s another one of those outfits which probably look better in black and white than in colour! I didn’t realise who she was from the photo, but as soon as I saw her smile(…)

The Changing Face of Santa

The Changing Face of Santa

My little boy has seen 3 different Santas this year (or rather he’s seen Santa 3 times this year) and was slightly confused by the fact that Father Christmas wore glasses two of the times and then didn’t the third time. He whispered that he thought the last one *might* have been one of Santa’s(…)

How to Wear 1940s Hats

How to Wear 1940s Hats

There’s a real soft-spot in my heart for 1940s fashions. Perhaps it’s because I grew up seeing the big shoulder pads and nipped in waists of the of the 80s and thinking it was all oh so glamorous, and later I realised how one decade was an echo of the other. Both embraced similar trends:(…)