Friday, April 26, 2019

1940s Century Lady Painting

A little behind on my crazy quilt journal project.  I actually have my 1940s lady painted and finally pieced.  The problem I have been having is printing the images onto fabric.  They are losing color when printed onto cotton fabric even though I have boosted the color.  They look fine on paper.  I first printed this one on cotton fabric and then tried silk.  The silk had better color but when stabilizer was ironed on it rippled.  I ended up using my Inktense pencils and adding color to the cotton printed image.  I will be experimenting with other printable fabrics but this will do for now and for use on my Crazy Quilt Block.

The 1940s lady is very feminine and put together yet practical even though this decade was a tough one.  Patriotism was foremost of importance, deep in everyone's heart!  It was a time of WWII as the United States was drug into the war.  Hitler had taken power in Europe in '39 and on December 7, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor forcing President Roosevelt and Congress to declare war on Japan.  Americans dropped the first Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.  The term 'Wartime Glamour Girl' and the phrase 'beauty is your duty' were coined as women were expected to look beautiful to keep up the moral of the troops even though at the same time they were forced to step in to the roles of men to help fill the vacancies left by those leaving to serve the country.  Rosie the Riveter was one such woman whose image  became an icon of the women's role in the war effort.   They were expected to stay optimistic, strong and charming yet elegant and tastefully dressed as 'the girl next door'.

Makeup was soft with full red lips. Hair was generally styled in a pageboy or when working tucked into snoods or bandannas.  Off duty their hair was often styled into a sausage rolls on the crown or neck, referred to as Veronica Lake hair.

Fashion magazines were now in color.  Most women made their own clothing as a matter of practicality.   It was not uncommon that some clothing might have been made from curtains, tablecloths and other such items due to rationing and restrictions during the war.  There was a 'make due and mend' mentality.  Aprons were often worn at home.

Small floral prints in Crepe du Chine fabric and other printed fabrics and solids in fabrics such as cotton, silk and wool were popular for lawn dresses, swing dresses and other clothing.  Hemlines moved up again to just below the knee.  For evening wear fabrics included taffeta and satin.  Wool suits including the L-85 suit, influenced by mens' military uniforms were more utilitarian in appearance.  Shoulder pads were used to give the look of broad shoulders.  Fitted suits or dresses though practical were also figure flattering and sometimes had a peplum to enhance the waistline.  Baggy long yet feminine trousers gained popularity in the 1920s and 30s but began wearing them in public in the 40s but they still weren't really accepted until the 1960s.  An interesting side note, women weren't allowed to wear trousers on the Senate floor until 1993.  We've come a long way baby (as the saying goes).

This was a decade of rationing, including food, clothing and metals reserved for use by the military.  Nylons were scarce so many women used leg makeup and even used eyebrow pencils to draw a seam up the back of their legs to give the appearance of hose.  Head-wear included wide-brimmed hats, lace mantillas, snoods, adorned hats with veils including bird hats, bow hats and bandeaux hats.  Other accessories were non-priority furs, crushed cotton gloves, and clutch purses.  Metal was in short supply so sterling silver was used for jewelry instead.  Large round button earrings, felt flowers and brooches which were cheap and easy, crocheted detachable collars, multiple bracelets and bangles and beaded necklaces completed the look. Bakelite plastics were developed around 1907 and during the 30s and 40s became popular for jewelry due to its low price and bright colors.  

Footwear was back to practicality, they typically had chunky heels and ankle straps, also 2-toned.  They were similar to those of the 20s and 30s but without the flare and color.  Espadrilles in summer, loafers,  and for the younger females, saddle shoes.

Popular dances were the Deb and Lindy-Hop, Jitterbug, Boogie Woogie, Jive, Rumba, Samba, and Swing; for the 20-something the Fox Trot.  Entertainment included Gone With the Wind and Little Women.  Influential and Iconic People were the Andrew Sisters, Dina Shore, Rita Hayworth, Dorothy L'Amour, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Gable, Marlene Dietrich, Rosy the Riveter, Oveta Culp Hobby, Mme Chian Kai-Sheck, Bing Crosby (I love his voice), Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Scarlotte O'Hara.

Fine art was at a standstill to ads and fashion.

Postwar years of this decade was marked by a return to decadence which plunged us into the styles of the 1950s.

1 comment:

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Another great drawing Connie - and I am enjoying your little history 'lessons' too. Looking forward to seeing the block you create!