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.

Pin up girls at a Navy dance during WW2

Pin up girls at a Navy dance during WW2

Beautifully dressed pin-up girls waiting to be asked to dance at the NAS Seattle Spring Formal Dance in 1944. Who could resist such beautiful smiles? No wonder a dance with one of these ladies would raise the morale of the Navy!

Vintage fashion meets bondage in the 1940s

Vintage fashion meets bondage in the 1940s

These photos were taken in January 1949, and very little is known about them. They were discovered in a collection of photos by Turners Photography Ltd in Newcastle (UK) and juts labelled with the date and the label ‘Mr Steinberg’s Model.’ They seem to me to be a strange mixture of fashion and bondage, as(…)

A man-pyramid, 1940s

A man-pyramid, 1940s

A very impressive man-pyramid from the 1940s. Acrobats never cease to amaze me with what they can do with their bodies, just wow! This photo was taken in the 1940s (some towards the end of just after the Second World War) in Egypt.

Dovima on a boat 1946

Dovima on a boat 1946

1950s fashion model Dovima looking impossibly stylish sitting on a boat in Montego Bay, Jamaica. This photo was taken by Toni Frissell and appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, November 1946. I love the look of the sea in this photo. Even though the photo is in black and white you can almost feel that water just(…)

Contact sheet from a 1940s fashion shoot

Contact sheet from a 1940s fashion shoot

Contact sheet of photos taken by Toni Frissell in the mid to late 1940s in front of the Washington Monument. The photos were taken for an advertisement for Garfinckel’s to go into Vogue magazine. Which of these photos would you pick as the best?

Gene Kelly in uniform, WW2

Gene Kelly in uniform, WW2

Gene Kelly photographed in his US Navy uniform during the Second World War, probably 1944 or 1945. He enlisted in the US Naval Air Service and was stationed in the Photographic Section, Washington D.C. He looks mighty dishy in a uniform doesn’t he? He was one of my first crushes when I used to sit(…)

The gruesome truth behind Hollywood’s most famous smiles

The gruesome truth behind Hollywood’s most famous smiles

It’s no secret that A-list celebrities frequently turn to cosmetic dentistry to straighten, fix and brighten their teeth to achieve the megawatt smiles we’re used to seeing. During the golden age of Hollywood, however, many stars went further than a little tooth-whitening to maintain their icon status. Some of the stars were hiding painful secrets(…)

The drug culture of Hollywood’s golden age

The drug culture of Hollywood’s golden age

The movie-going public adored the image of glitz and glamour presented to them by their favorite Hollywood stars in the first half of the 20th Century, but many of them were hiding dark secrets. The use of illegal (and legal) drugs was widespread and several well-known faces dabbled in narcotics.  In some cases drug use(…)

Edward Steichen’s war photographs

Edward Steichen’s war photographs

Edward Steichen is best known (at least to me) as being one of the main photographers for Vogue and Vanity Fair during the late 1920s and 1930s. He made a name for himself as a war photographer during World War 1 and between the wars became one of the best paid and well-known fashion photographers.(…)

10 things you didn’t know about Marilyn Monroe

10 things you didn’t know about Marilyn Monroe

I say ‘10 things you didn’t know about Marilyn Monroe‘ but obviously I have no idea how much of a Marilyn expert you are, so I guess these are really 10 things I didn’t know about Marilyn Monroe! Let me know if they’re all news to you too – I was amazed by some of(…)

The best legs in Hollywood: a photo tribute to Betty Grable’s legs

The best legs in Hollywood: a photo tribute to Betty Grable’s legs

Betty Grable’s legs, who were insured by Lloyds of London for a whopping $1 million. I can’t think of any other actress who was photographed as much just from the waist down! These photos were all from the 1940s, but mostly 1943. Can you see what all the fuss was about? Source and copyright: This(…)

Vintage brides: 1940s wedding dresses

Vintage brides: 1940s wedding dresses

The 1940s were an interesting time in fashion, in part because so much of the style of this decade was developed via necessity. Traditional bridal fabrics such as silk were rationed and a lot of brides opted instead for day dresses, suits or even military uniforms and accessorized them with corsages, hats and gloves. Which(…)

1940 bikini

1940 bikini

Publicity photo of Adele Mara wearing a polka dot bikini for Argentinean Magazine. Source and copyright: This work is in the public domain in that it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice.

1940s swimwear

1940s swimwear

A group of bathers photographed in 1946. The group includes Swedish writers Artur Lundkvist and his wife Maria Wine (second and third from left). Do you have any vintage family photos you’d like to share? If so I’d love to see them! You can email them to me at weheartvintage (at) hotmail.co.uk.

WWII pin up photo of Sherry Britton

WWII pin up photo of Sherry Britton

Pin up photo of Sherry Britton wearing a fabulous bikini dress from the December 1945  issue of Yank, the Army Weekly, a weekly U.S. Army magazine.

Betty Grable’s famous WWII pinup

Betty Grable’s famous WWII pinup

This photo of Betty Grable from 1943 was the most popular pin up photo for American GIs during WWII. You can see the other WWII pin ups here Source and copyright: This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 and although there may or(…)