Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Natural Elegance

    Most people would consider the 1930s to be one of the most flattering eras of the 20th century, for women in especial.
    Why is that,  actually?  It was a time of serious deprivation for many, as the Great Depression rolled along.  But the clothes that were being constructed and worn are still, 80+ years later, lionized as some of the most well considered ever.  The reasons are multiple.
    The first and most important is that the clothing never forgot what the actual shape and proportions of a woman's body really were.   The waistline was at its natural point.  The bust, hips and shoulder-line were not exaggerated extremely. So a woman of any shape and size could be attractive in that clothing.
    The second reason was a logical progression from the 1920s.  During the 20s, the effervescent quality of the youthful fashions helped to express a greater sexual freedom; and freedom in other activities as well, like sport, and business.
  While the seriousness of the Depression did cause a lengthening of hems and a more mature mien to take center stage, the sexuality present in the prior decades clothes continued, and was even more frankly expressed, through ubiquitous bias cut evening wear, often backless, and worn with scant underclothes.
    The third reason refers to the seriousness I mentioned a moment ago.  For the first time ever, really, due to financial privations, a woman was a part of the workforce in vastly great numbers.  Their working clothes needed to be comfortable, practical, and also attractive.  The level of sexual attraction needed to be very subtle, so as not to rouse suspicions of being "fast".  And that need for quietly compelling clothing expressed all across the fashion world, at every level.  It created a mature, knowingly expressed sexuality.  It helped to create, possibly for the first time, a full fledged image of a woman in control of her life and world.
    So, its natural, I believe that we routinely go back to the thirties for inspiration. The clothes did everything they should do, but with taste, class, and subtlety.
  And that, is something a whole lot of people want to achieve.

No comments:

Post a Comment