Great War Fashion

Great War Fashion

Tales From the History Wardrobe

Book - 2013
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Imagine 'stepping into someone else's shoes'. Walking back in time a century ago, which shoes would they be? A pair of silk sensations costing thousands of pounds designed by Yantonnay of Paris or wooden clogs with metal cleats that spark on the cobbles of a factory yard? Will your shoes be heavy with mud from trudging along duckboards between the tents of a frontline hospital... or stuck with tufts of turf from a football pitch? Will you be cloaked in green and purple, brandishing a 'Votes for Women' banner or will you be the height of respectability, restricted by your thigh-length corset? Great War Fashion opens the woman's wardrobe in the years before the outbreak of war to explore the real woman behind the stiff, mono-bosomed ideal of the Edwardian Society lady draped in gossamer gowns, and closes it on a new breed of women who have donned trousers and overalls to feed the nation's guns in munitions factories and who, clad in mourning, have loved and lost a whole generation of men. The journey through Great War Fashion is not just about the changing clothes and fashions of the war years, but much more than that - it is a journey into the lives of the women who lived under the shadow of war and were irrevocably changed by it. At times, laugh-out-loud funny and at others, bringing you to tears, Lucy Adlington paints a unique portrait of an inspiring generation of women, brought to life in rare and stunning images.
Publisher: Stroud, Gloucestershire : The History Press, 2013.
ISBN: 9780752493480
Branch Call Number: 391.20941 ADLIN
Characteristics: 247 p. : ill. ; 27 cm


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Oct 25, 2014

I suspected that Great War Fashion might be aimed at the crowd who watch Downton Abbey for the costumes. It is that and so much more. Each chapter explores a different aspect of women’s fashion of the time, looking at class (comparing couture and status accessories for the few to everyday clothes for ordinary women), occupation (suffragettes, maids, nurses, munitionettes, textile workers, knitting and sewing club members, land workers, women in uniform) and occasion (weddings, pregnancy, air raids, mourning). In each case, fashion is a jumping off point to describe how real women lived their lives … and how clothing helped, hindered or evolved. Adlington connects extensive research from varied sources and uses lots of period photos and illustrations to exhibit the points.

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