03 Oct Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style
Whilst in Manchester, I made time to visit the Imperial War Museum. Fortuitously I was able to also take in this most fabulous exhibition that celebrates the ingenuity, determination, but also the plain battiness of the attempts by the stylish to get around rationing and shortages of everything from knicker elastic to buttons at wartime…
I truly don’t believe my generation or younger have any idea of the sacrifices and the resourcefulness of people during the war. Pops always says ‘we went into the war with nothing and came out with even less’. Still to this day, he has instilled in me to not be wasteful. Making clothes from a very young age, reusing fabric and creating something new was such a joyful way to spend those early years but was a result of he and my Mothers experiences of that dreadfully dark time.
My Manchester trip took me to the TV studios with the flux of trendy people, high tech equipment, swishy new buildings, bars and offices all a far cry from the images that really stayed with me from the Museum. So much so its taken me a while to fully digest just what they lived through.
I explained about my company and how interesting and relevant the exhibition was to my business and to my readers. Hence I was allowed to take photos.
We live in a time where consumerism is at an all time high. But there is a trend that is returning to recycling and reworking old to new. The principle gained during dark days when really there was very little to play with.
For example, the wedding dress pictured here was worn by 14 brides.
The styles of the 1940’s were really very feminine, and with the high waists and floaty skirts played to the body shape beautifully.
We are also seeing a rise in ethical production from some of the larger manufacturers too.
So for some top tips……
I do hope I have inspired you to visit it…