Wednesday, 20 February 2013

1940s spring collection - part 1

This year, we really wanted to get our 40s collection 'sorted'. I always struggle with the compromise between creating garments that are faithful to original styles and making sure that we cater for as many people and sizes as possible. Then there is production costs - in the 40s, fabric was at a premium and time was less expensive. The opposite is true nowadays - every seam has a cost and 7 gore dresses, shirring and gathers typical in the early 40s are not cheap to produce now. Fabrics are also of less quality in general and dont always behave as vintage fabrics do.

So our challenge was to create a collection that was affordable, faithful as much as possible to vintage styles, different and using quality fabrics.

The 40s Wardrobe

I always recall a lovely neighbour telling me about what she remembered of the 40s - she lived near to an american base and used to steal herself away for the dances during the war. She had one dress for dances, a classic shirt dress for the day, a few skirts and blouses and was one of the first young ladies to wear trousers!

I have researched SO much, i have collected many vintage garments and talked to many people about clothing in the 40s. Suffice to say - we certainly have a rose tinted view of this era - but it probably doesnt matter. Despite utility and war restrictions, there was something sweet and demure about it. I regret that i do prefer american 40s fashions - and this has influenced our collection.

Seperates are always in demand and we decided we needed to make a collection of interchangeable seperates. We are pleased with our 1940s swing trousers (or pants!) and pussy bow blouse. The swing twousers are extremely popular and now that we offer custom lengths, we often have customers returning after their initial purchase to take all colours available. We added the swing skirt this year, a lovely design based on a photo i saw, the key elements are a fitted band around the hip with a free skirt flaring beneath. This means its great for dancing but retains modesty at the same time.

I am in love with our pussy bow blouse! I love the gathers at the shoulder and back and the slight puff in the top of the sleeve. I wear mine a lot! With swing pants, pencil skirts and even a circular skirt. I have maybe gone overboard with 3 different fabrics and more to come - but Im so confident that people will love this as much as i do!

We are about to launch our shirt dress - which in my opinion every woman should have one of if they love the 40s! Practical, demure and very vintage. This pattern will also provide us with the classic shirt blouse - an alternative to the pussy bow version.

Anyway - more in part 2. here is a pic of Slinky Sparkles in our pussy bow blouse and swing skirt from a recent shoot! Thanks to Bethany for the hair - which is so fab and also to Kim from Madame Boudoir.

till next time...