Usually, the 1940’s is a period that people do not associate fashion with. We constantly hear of the 20’s, the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s etc…
Despite the hardships of WWII, the 1940s were still a brilliant decade for fashion. Hollywood’s Golden Age stars – from Rita Hayworth to Katharine Hepburn – dazzled in gorgeous gowns, while women across the West embraced a more functional yet chic look. Here, we highlight some of the best of the 1940’s style in stunning images.
1. Joan Crawford, 1940s
Check out Joan Crawford’s shoulder pads and decadent jewels – now we know where Joan Collins got her 1980s style inspiration from. A perfectly-tailored peplum finishes off her sharp look. Power dressing at its very best.
2. Christian Dior’s New Look, 1947
This was a groundbreaking move in fashion to redfine women’s post-war styles and revive France’s fashion industry after a difficult few years. The collection – featuring gorgeous full skirts and waist-cinching jackets – was Dior’s first and became forever known as the New Look after Harper’s editor Carmel Snow said in 1947: ‘It’s such a new look!
3. Rita Hayworth, 1940
The actress embraces androgynous style in a pair of wide-legged trousers and monochrome flats in 1940. Our new workwear wardrobe = sorted.
4. Katharine Hepburn, 1940
Katharine rocks a gingham dress and cinched-in waist on the set of The Philadelphia Story in 1940. Note the Peter Pan collar.
5. Ginger Rogers, 1942
That wide-brimmed hat and elegant skirt suit made Ginger Rogers look effortlessly pulled-together in 1942. Just check out those leather driving gloves – you couldn’t get more chic. If only we looked this good on our way to the airport. Love.
6. Rita Hayworth, 1946
This famous black gown from Rita Hayworth’s striptease scene in Gilda set tongues wagging in 1946.
7. Ava Gardner, 1940s
More monochrome. A first hint of statement prints. You can’t go wrong with a 1940s tea dress.
10. Hedi Lamarr, 1941
Actress Hedi rocks a huge floral corsage for Come Live With Me. So this is where Carrie Bradshaw got her inspiration from…
12. Lauren Bacall, 1944
Lauren looks flawless in this thigh-split satin gown in 1944. We could totally see Angelina Jolie wearing this vintage wonder.