Thursday, November 4, 2010

The A-Z of Vintage part 1: A-F

Hello everyone! Here's my second assessment piece I have completed for the project. Since this is a 'guide to vintage' I will be presenting you with the A-Z of Vintage. Part one! I will be posting it in four installments over the next few days because it's quite lengthy to write and post all at once.

A is for Atomic prints, amazing fabrics from the 50s/60s that featured interesting shapes in mostly pastels. They have that whole 1960s futuristic thing going on that I personally love.

B is for Bakelite the most famous early plastic synonymous with the Art Deco period and was used into the forties. It is made from carbolic acid and formaldehyde to form a sort of resin. Some examples of Bakelite products are jewellery, radios and telephones. It's other name is polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride. Try saying that five times.
C is for Crinoline an undergarment that makes skirts really pouffy. It was originally made of rigid fabric that looked like a cage and was worn in the 1800s to get the extreme skirt silhouette. The 20th century crinoline was made of tulle or some sort of netted fabric and was popularised in the 1950s because they were worn under all the full skirts.

D is for Dior's New Look, the fashion collection by the Dior fashion house straight out of the war in 1947 that sent shock waves and changed the course of fashion. The excessive use of fabric, which was still rationed, was shunned by the Government but loved by the public. It saw a return to the (cartoonish) female form with nipped in waists, padded hips and a large busts. It started the looks that we familiarise with the 1950s with a return to glamour after the restrictive war.

E is for Elsa Schiaparelli the designer popular in the 1930s who popularised the use of coloured zippers in clothing. She was creative in design collaborating with likes of Salvador Dali. She created the modern runway shoe as well as wedges however a shadow is cast over her by Coco Chanel.

F is for Flapper the name coined to women in the 1920s who bobbed their hair, danced the Charleston, wore above knee length dresses and listened to jazz music. The desired figure revolted against the wasp waist of previous generations with a straight tubular one. They were quite risqué for their time however their escapades ceased at the Great Depression. I recommend reading F. Scott Fitzgerald it's all very flapper, especially 'Bernice Bobs Her Hair, rollicking fun literature people.

Thanks for reading! By the way does anyone have any suggestions for letters U, Z and X? Any help is appreciated immensely!


  1. Z= zoot suit??

    U= undergarments: corsets, girdles, stockings etc :)

    X.... hmmm.... let me think about that one!

  2. Ruby this is coming along really well.

    The images are an important reference so the more you can bring in the better.

    I wish insults were as naff as 'Flapper' today.

  3. Thank you so much RetroJetGirl! I really appreciate it :)

  4. Hiya Ruby! Learnt about your blog from Rosina Lee. You're doing really well! Congrats on a great blog. I agree... 60's is the cut off for vintage... anything later is retro. Cheers (from another Melbourne girl who recently moved to the US) Monique xx

  5. Hi Monique :) Thank you so much for your kind words, it's lovely to hear from another Melbourne girl!