1940’s Wedding Dresses
The 20th Century Fashions during the 40s was predominantly influenced by the Big Band era; swing music reflected the way people dressed. But at the same time there was the influence of the World War II. The times revealed a certain difficulty in creation as shortages both economically and socially were present all over the place. Somehow the designers managed to combine style and practicality to reach the status of elegance and classy.
One can divide the 1940s fashion in two distinguished parts: during the war and after the war.
These distinctive styles are reflected also in the 1940s wedding dresses. In the first period, during the war the style of the dresses was simpler as clothing was rationed across the UK and US. That is why many brides of modest means chose to wear practical dresses. Homemade accessories and curly hairstyle allowed the brides to show their elegance without too much expense or waste. The grooms limited themselves to simply wear the uniform.
The second period with the war over and materials available again, the French couturiers, gained again suveranity in the fashion realm. Christian Dior was the promoter of the New Look, that featured a nipped waist, fuller skirts with plenty of fabric and a more classical feminine image. His New Look became more popular across the ocean where designers combined several elements in order to get the effects of elegance and stylish. Long sleeves with a point at the end -that made the hands look elongated and brought the wedding ring into attention-, emphasis on waist, often with a “V” shape, made of rayon and sometimes silk, these are few of the elements introduced in the New Look of 1940’s wedding dresses.
Another element not less important is the usange of veil which in time became a trend in wearing it longer and richer reaching almost the fullness of a rich trail.
The 1940’s bride’s hairstyle is still actual and perfect for a formal wedding. The curly style confers a classical and elegant look underlining the features of the face in a delicate manner. Many elements of 1940’s wedding dresses are preserved in nowadays wedding fashion. Designers take interest in creating new looks based on the “old looks” of the 40s.11
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