Fashions from the 1940s rank among the most popular and most influential in modern times. In vogue again today, these classic designs — characterized by wide, padded shoulders and slim silhouettes — were born, largely, from the need to conserve materials during World War II. With the war's end, designers rejected the austere conditions imposed on them earlier in the decade and the New Look was inaugurated — an ultra-feminine line that displayed close-fitting bodices and long, full skirts.
Noted illustrator and fashion authority Tom Tierney has painstakingly researched and meticulously re-created in full color the trend-setting styles of the 1940s. Two dolls and 32 lavish outfits for evening and day wear include Schiaparelli's dark blue wool suit accented with large gold buttons; an Adrian cocktail dress in crepe, with a hand-painted golden-rope motif; a four-tiered wool dress by Germaine Monteil; an elegant wedding gown of starched white muslin and white eyelet embroidery from Henri Bendel; Hattie Carnegie's dinner pajamas — a bespangled floral print accented with a wide sash in violent pink; and a magnificent black taffeta evening coat worn over a short lace evening dress — both by Balenciaga.
Also shown are stunning designs by Jo Copeland, Jeanne Lanvin, Mainbocher, Dior, Norman Norell, Adele Simpson, Mollie Parnis, Muriel King, Pierre Balmain, Maurice Rentner, Edward Molyneux, Omar Kiam, Robert Piguet, and Jacques Fath. Descriptions are included for the outfits, while notes offer background information on the designers and their creations.
A unique collection that paper doll fanciers will find especially captivating, Great Fashion Designs of the Forties Paper Dolls will also appeal to designers, nostalgia buffs, costume historians, and anyone interested in the timeless fashions of a memorable decade.
Grades 3+, Ages 12+