Monday, 23 January 2012

Wallis Simpson’s Style – inside the wardrobe

This month see the launch of Madonna’s directorial debut, W.E. – a film that follows the scandalous love affair between the King and the divorced American socialite known as ‘that woman’.

Wallis Simpson may have made headlines for her relationship causing the King to abdicate, but she was also known for her incredible sense of style and was certainly a celebrated style icon of the 1930s and beyond. Wallis was always impeccably dressed and as one of the first clients of Christian Dior – wore the very latest fashions. Images of her continue to inspire and fascinator lovers of heritage fashion across the globe.

1930s fashion - a 'very' quick overview.

The 1930s was a difficult era in history marked by the great depression and austerity. Fashions during this period are fascinating in that they mark the duality between austerity and sensuality. The 30s has always been an obsession of mine since I can remember, the complexity of the cuts such as the bias method - I also have to admit having read most books on Wallis and being one of the many people fascinated by her pictures.

As the depression began to affect the public, a conservative approach to fashion displaced the flippant fashions of the 20s. Hems got lower (mid calf was average), necklines got higher and waistlines returned to their natural place, marking the return of a more ‘womanly’ figure/ladylike appearance. Daytime was feminine and tidy but eveningwear was pure glamour with daring bare backs and contour hugging bias cuts on sensual flowing fabrics such as crepe de chine, chiffons and satins.This era also saw the rise of the halter and cowl necklines, dolman and kimono sleeves. Was this the sexiest decade in female fashion, or what?

Two 30s inspired dress from Stop Staring - modelled here by Slinky Sparkles

We are in the process of working on a 1930s collection of our own - but this is in many way, an indulgence... Since most of the vintage inspired fashion followers prefer the iconic 40s and 50s pinup style, we have mainly focussed on filling the gaps to bring a full collection together. However, we have a few styles in stock and also need to admit our new own brand swing pants are actually based on a late 30s pattern....high waisted with buttons along the side. These are now on sale and are limited in stock, Since we buy short bolts of fabric, we can only produce up to 20 garments in each. This means that you are always purchasing a limited edition.

Swing Pants £55 - Available now - click here
Capsule 30s wardrobe:-
- tweed suit
- square scarfs
- a blouse of either pussy bow variety or simple collar
- wide leg trousers
- bias cut slinky evening gown
- a fur
- saucer hat (cloche hats were still worn for a number of years int he 30s)
- gloves (always, always, always)

Excellent films/tv shows featuring great 1930s frocks:-
Gosford Park
(some) Agatha Christie
Fred & Ginger movies
anything with Jean Harlow
The Merry Widow
Shanghai Express
and...The Devil is a Woman!

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