25.00 x 23.00 cm
250 Illustrations, 196 in colour
First published 2008
This is the definitive book on fashion in the 1940s. Richly illustrated and stylishly designed, 'Forties Fashion' is an essential sourcebook for fashion professionals, and a feast for anyone looking for new retro ideas … … from French style under the occupation and the ‘make do and mend' approach to creatively solving clothing shortages, through issues of dress, patriotism and propaganda and the development of faux fabrics and rationing, to the rise of American fashion houses and the New Look of the postwar period. Between the air raids and ration queues, fashion found creative expression that has new resonance today as the world responds to the new climate of limited resources. 250 illustrations reveal the wide range of fashions and styles that emerged throughout the Second World War and throughout the world. During this period of international conflict, fashion managed to express ideals of beauty, femininity and luxury even though patriotic and practical considerations came first. International attitudes emerge from period advertisements, images of real clothes and first-hand accounts from contemporary publications. The result is a glorious celebration of everything from practical and smart-looking attire for air raids (hooded capes with large pockets, zipper-fronted siren suits and turbans) to street and anti-fashion, and the creation of Christian Dior's ‘New Look' collection in 1947. The lively text details how fashion was considered not a frivolity but an aesthetic expression of circumstances in the 1940s. While Fascist states tried to create ‘national' styles before the war began, by 1940 the pursuit of beauty was promoted on both sides of the conflict as a patriotic duty. Jonathan Walford was founding curator of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, and has held curatorial positions with several other institutions. His look at footwear through the ages, The Seductive Shoe, was also published by Thames & Hudson.