Sunday, November 7, 2010

The A-Z of Vintage part 2: G-L

Time for the second installment! I have been busy writing all of the assignment up so it's guaranteed there will be a post tomorrow.  I had some tricky letters so I have got some actresses to fill the gaps however if anyone has anything better I'll edit it ASAP (plus the help would appreciated greatly).

G is for Girdle the mid 20th century's answer to the corset and an early version of modern shape wear like Spanx or Nancy Gansz. Its popularity can be seen from the 1920s to the 1960s. In the 1920s women who wanted to achieve the popular tubular look but wanted freedom to move (especially during dancing) the girdle was used and well during the fifties after the New Look (previously discussed) to create the hourglass wasp waist.. It didn't use restricting boning like corsets rather more elasticised fabrics to shape and smooth. Because stockings were an everyday essential back then girdles had suspenders and some even had brassieres incorporated to create a corselette or merry widow.

H is for Hats, one of my grandmother's four everday essentials, the others being shoes with a heel, stocking and gloves, during the forties and fifties. Each decade has its own signature style whether it be the cloche from the 1920s or the pillbox of 1960s. The short hairstyles of the 20s saw the hats mimic the styles, hats of the thirties went back to wide brims and high crown while the rationing of the 1940s saw less trims and smaller hats, scarves were used as alternative being tied into turbans and other variants. The 1950s, being the decade of glamour and opulence after the war, introduced more floral embellishments to hats as well as the pillbox, however with changing hairstyles the hat started its demise. The last decade of the 20th century when the hat was prominent was the 60s. The hats were bright and colourful like the clothes with various styles. The pillbox was a popular hat favoured by Jackie Kennedy.

I is for Ingrid Bergman the Swedish born actress who was one of the leading actresses of the 1940s. She starred in the cinema classic Casablanca alongside Humphrey Bogart. She was apart of the Golden Age of Hollywood lasting from the end of silent films in the 1920s till the 1950s. Fun fact, people used to think my grandmother looked like Ingrid.

J is for Jane Russell an actress from the 1940/50s and one of the bombshells of the time who epitomised the sweater girl look. The sweater girl look is defined by tight fitting jumpers to emphasize the bust and the conical bullet bra. She was in the famous 'Gentle Men Prefer Blondes' and the followup 'Gentlemen Marry Brunettes'.

K is for Katherine Hepburn one of my style icons and actress of the forties. She is known for androgynous style but still maintaining to be feminine. She starred in Philadelphia Story, a personal favourite and was a screen queen in the Golden Age of Film.

L is for Lindy Hop is a dance that started from Charleston and is in the group of swing dancing. It started in the 1920s/30s and has jazz origins. It was popular from the twenties to the forties and has been going through a revival since the 80s and it is still popular. The dance is either six or eight beat and is more open than Charleston.

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