Monday, October 1, 2012

American Autumn Collections, 1942

On March 8, 1942 the American Government implemented Regulation L-85 that specified restrictions for women's wardrobe due to materials needed for the war effort.  The 1942 Autumn Collections were the first made since L-85 went into effect.  The September 1, 1942 issue of Vogue magazine declared that this new collection was as beautiful as any America has ever made.  The entire issue was dedicated to these law-abiding new designs.

Photo by Rawlings
Although rationing in America was not as strict as in Britain, it certainly offered new challenges to the fashion designer.  Skirts must be narrow, jackets less than 25" long.  Metal must be saved, so drawstrings are the new fasteners.  Wool linings are forbidden, but fur linings are legal and luxurious, and what's more, they are much warmer!  Decorative flaps and pockets are banned, so along comes unrationed braid to enhance your new suit.

Suit design by Traina-Norell
Illustration by Rene Bouet-Willaumez (RBW)

The short evening look is the newest news in the Collections.  Lots of wool, it's bright with color and sparkle and full of surprises - like plaid....with beads.  It's pure elegance in the most unexpected places.

Illustration by Eric
Pictured on the left:  Hand knitted sweater paired with a wool jersey skirt blazing with paillette roses.  Traina-Norell design; crocheted black silk scarf.  On the right:  Scotch plaid English wool jacket trimmed with black bugle beads and ball fringe worn with a simple black velvet dress; pailletted veil.  Hattie Carnegie design.

Fur Side - Inside
Wool edged cape with fur side - inside.  Inside:  Hudson Seal (dyed muskret), Outside:  Black British wool.  Fabulous high-flared tricorn hat from John-Frederics.

No comments:

Post a Comment