Timeline 7: 1940-1949

 

1940

Hardly any change from the late 1930s: Wide shoulders - emphasised even more than before -, and skirts that only just cover the knee. As if to make up for the short skirt, the neckline is high and will continue to be high the whole decade long.

1942

Ther angular, masculine line that had started in the 1930s is perfectly suited for this warlike era in which women stand in for the men that have left for the front line, just as they had done during WWI. No wonder that there is no notieceable change.

1943

In the fourth year of the war, fabric has become an expensive commodity. Fabric economy is essential; magazines offer advice on how to recycle old clothing. Most models are made up of two different fabrics so that they can be made by re-using parts of older garments.

 

1944

Ongoing scarcity of fabric supports close-fitting garments made of two different fabrics. Even shoes are recycled and done up and therefore look somewhat plump. Fashion magazines simply declare these necessities to be the current trend.

1947

After two years of scarce living among debris and considering oneself lucky if one had sufficient clothing at all, interest in fashion grows again. Fabric economy and recycling are still important since the textile industry is not up to the demand yet. Shoes are still plump, with thick soles.

 

1948

A year after its invention, Dior's "New Style" has finally reached the common household. Since not everyone can afford the fabric for a new-style wide skirt yet, narrow skirts are still persmissible if only the bodice/jacket cinches the waist.
After 10 years, the strict vertical and wide shoulders finally give way to a more female line again.

1949

Wide skirts, narrow waists, horizontal seams either above or below the waist. For the dirst time, two silhouettes exist side by side: The narrow skirt on the one hand, the wide one that we nowadays usually associate with the 1950s on the other.

 

The pictures were taken from the magazines Deutsche Moden-Zeitung, Mode-Schlüssel, Frau und Mutter and Wiener Modenwelt.

 

 

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