March is finished. There was a definite contrast between the 20s and 30s. While the 1920s was frivolous and almost rebellious the 1930s brought with it economic, political and social turmoil. Leading this was the 1929 Wall Street crash which resulted in what is referred to as the 'Great Depression'. It was also the decade Hitler took over Germany. This was the period in our history of the infamous couple Bonnie and Clyde. Most lived practical lives with some women going to work to help support the family during the hard times. The ideal woman was mature, efficient and reliable but there was also the spunky working girl. Think of Greta Garbo and the chain-smoking Bette Davis. There was a mood upswing later in the 30s decade which brought on gathered and shirred dresses, amusing jewelry and hats.
The 1930s was also a very innovative time. Inventions during this decade included frozen food, all-color movies at the cinema, jet engine, FM radio, photocopier, ballpoint pen.
Popular dances such as the Rumba, Jazz, Jitterbug, Breakaway, Air Steps, Conga, Lambeth Walk, Chestnut Tree, Hokey Cokey and Samba were performed to the beat of what was referred to as Big Band music. Entertainment besides dancing included the Cinema, horse races and the still popular today Wizard of Oz.
Influential people during the 1930s (and some beyond the 1930s) included Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, Jean Arthur, Rosalind Russel, Barbara Stanwyck, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, Shirley Temple, Katharine Hepburn, Scarlotte O'Hara, Ann Rutherford, Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers. Several of them were stars of the Cinema and had a huge influence on fashions of the day.
|2019 CQJP - March - 1930s|
Speaking of fashion, the 1930's took a turn from the razzle-dazzle of the roaring twenties to a more glamorous, unfussy and ultra feminine mature style. Even young college-age women looked more mature with their long skirts and practical working shoes. Hems went longer, about 10" from the floor or some even to the ankles.
Hair was styled into long soft 'finger waves', plucked arched eyebrows and rococo curved lips were also on trend.
The silhouette was more natural, slinky and sculptural, showing off their feminine curves and natural waistline. Waists were often belted. The look was glamorous, elegant and refined yet casual.
Everyday styles were created with fabrics such as rayon, linen, crepe du chine, chiffon and cotton cleverly cut on the bias. Floral prints and solids were common. Printed flour sack fabrics were still commonly used. Removable collars and cuffs, veiled hats, gloves, costume jewelry and other accessories were often used to change the look of an outfit.
Silks and satins and laces were reserved for intimates and evening wear, some with a train on the skirt. Backless dresses were common in evening wear. Tank vests were often worn instead of brassieres. Luxury fabrics and expensive beading was not readily available so designers had to be creative. Styles emphasized the waist through use of color, necklines and pleating. Shimmering fabrics, ethnic embroideries and amusing jewelry finally emerged in the late 30s.
Common trends included furs, monograms, Jabots, Dirndls (late 30s), gored dresses, penney loafers, Oxford shoes, T-strap heals, baroque shoes, slip on pumps, bandeaux hats and trumpet skirts. All shoes had a heel. Many shoes from this decade had perforations (tiny holes). Bracelets and a watch was often worn over top of gloves. Hats might cover one eye or large picture hats were worn. The ideal figure was tall with a small bust and narrow hips.
Pants and blazers, shirt dresses for daytime, and Peter Pan collars inspired by menswear were worn for the first time.
|1930s Decade Lady - Copyright Connie R Eyberg|
Popular art of the 30s was abstract, expressionism, Bauhaus school of Art, and by artists such as Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Wassily Kandinsky.
In my crazy quilt block I included collars which might be added to a dress or blouse, simple cotton lace, vintage buttons and some pearl beads. The fabrics are all reproduction 1930s. I tried to keep it fairly simple for this period of practicality. Hope you enjoyed learning a bit about this decade!