Friday, October 23, 2009

The 1930's: A Beautiful Contrast

When I hear someone mention the 1930's, visions of The Great Depression and Prohibition start dancing in my head.
Lately though, I've been thinking about Amelia Earhart and how great it's going to be to see her life on the big screen. Not to mention the fashion!

Take a look at some of the movie stills:

While this decade was a harsh one, the ironic thing is, it was a fantastically gorgeous time for fashion.
In the 1930's, there was a return to the more feminine, lady-like style of dress. For this is the time when the bias cut became the supreme method of producing elegant, flowing evening gowns.

Apparently, there's only one woman to thank; Madeleine Vionnet--one of the first designers to use the Cross Cut Bias Method.
Some say she invented this while others say it was done as far back as the medieval times. Whatever.

Below is a picture of THE 30's girl herself, Greta Garbo wearing her draped evening gown.
Have you seen the film Atonement? If so, you'll remember that stunning emerald green dress that Ceclia (Keira Knightly) wore that night while she got it on in the library with Robbie (James McAvoy). HOT, HOT, HOT! (I'm talking about the dress, for the most part)

It helps that Keira weighs about 10 pounds. Any larger than that, she couldn't pull this dress off as this dress is made for the waif, not the Pamela.
The dress was designed by costumer, Jacqueline Durran. A perfect example of the quintessential 1930's evening gown.

The daywear was altogher different--a sharp contrast to the glitz of the evening wear.

Up until the 1930's, wealthy women didn't really need practical day clothes. However, as their lives became more busy, they needed a chic yet pratical wardrobe--something they could move it! Dare I say, something comfortable.
They owed this to Coco Chanel (she believed you didn't have to be uncomfortable to be fashionable) because you can definitely feel her in every image of daywear of the 1930's:
Here's Greta Garbo doing casual. This outfit is so timeless.

Gorgeous Katherine Hepburn and the menswear influence on womens daywear:

Which brings me full-circle to Amelia: a fashion icon but she probably never knew it.

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