Welcome back to the 4th installation of my fashion journal! Today we are going to be focusing on the 1930s, which at the conclusion of the Great Depression, proved to be a turbulent time in fashion industry. Man-made fibers were one of the most exciting inventions of the 1930s, and included materials like rayon, nylon stockings, and viscose for linings and lingerie. Fashion trendsetters at this time were The Prince of Wales (King Edward VIII, until his abdication), his infamous companion Wallis Simpson, and movie stars like Joan Crawford. With that being said, let’s get into some of the more specific garments of the 1930s, and how they have created a lasting impact on the modern fashion industry.
First and foremost, take a look at this absolutely gorgeous frilled dress. The feminine flutters of the 1930s drew inspiration from the earlier 1920s flapper, and this art-deco dress. The dress on the right draws inspiration from the dropped hemline, loose calf skirts, and split short sleeves. Additionally, the color pink was a SHOCKING revelation at the time, so the modern dress on the right is a pretty spot-on representation of the time!
Another trend of the time was a luxuriously fur-lined wool winter coat, and it doesn’t take a lot of online searching to realize that has not gone out of style, either. While many designers today have adapted to look to incorporate faux fur, the overall essence and boxy design of the coat is still present. Elsa Schiaparelli is one of the most notable designers of the 1930s who is credited with “changing the outline of fashion from soft to hard”. This 1930s mohair & cashmere coat pictured on the left is the ultimate representation of Schiaparelli’s envision for a masculine, boxy frame, while still remaining bold and elegant. The coat on the right was actually hand-crafted by the women wearing it, which is absolutely incredible! I’ll link her blog at the bottom, if you want to check out her other designs.
As I said, Edward VIII’s abdication of the throne to marry Wallis Simpson was one of (if not the ultimate) groundbreaking event of the decade. Though she was looked upon with notoriety, she did have an influential sense of style throughout her life. Designer Roland Mouret drew direct inspiration from Simpson when he created this gold embossed silky maxi-dress, which he stated was meant to be a tribute to her iconic wardrobe. Simpson is quoted as saying, “My husband gave up everything for me. I’m not a beautiful woman. I’m nothing to look at, so the only thing I can do is dress better than anyone else.” Wallis, you need not worry- your iconic sense of style is just as inspiring now as it was eighty years ago.