Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ample make this Bed

I have done a set of belles where I have used soft pastel colours.The hair is straight from the Twenties! It was the ideal style for ladies to wear under the lovely cloche hats and little gold croched evening caps.. My daughter Susan chose a poem by Emily Dickenson to go with this image:

Ample make this bed

"Ample make this bed.
Make this bed with awe;
In it wait till judgment break
Excellent and fair.

Be its mattress straight,
Be its pillow round;
Let no sunrise' yellow noise
Interrupt this ground."

Emily Dickinson

Friday, February 18, 2011

Swimwear Revolution!

Covered from head to toe, our great-great grandmothers were allowed to "take to the water"! The early Twenties brought some light relief with constructions called tank suits. The legs were naked but some knee-high stockings were still worn. It was such a break-through, because soon a very sensible swimming costume was developed. The lines look good even today because there was a timeless elegance about them. I love Glamour Daze, a blog about vintage fashion. Here is a short illustrated history of vintage swimwear!

Open backs appeared in fashion once the short dresses of 1925 were no longer "shocking" and another area of daring had to be developed. As we know, that is a trend that sells a lot of fashion to this very day in our "who-will-be-first-to-wear-it" culture!

The development of swimwear was the result of the new liberty women experienced. I suppose that once they had the vote, they felt free to drive cars and take part in sport! In my painting, my little belle celebrates summer at a quiet and discreet locality, another favourite pastime of the Twenties.

180 x 180mm (10 x 10)
Acrylic on Canvas Board


Monday, February 7, 2011

The Barrel Line

Utility clothes worn by women during World War I, was extremely drab. Wartime fashion gave us a heavy wide skirt in rough material, not a pretty button in sight!

At last in 1919 at the end of the war this skirt made way for 'the barrel line'. Dresses were now tubular with the anatomy of women quite suppressed. No shape and no waist were shown. If you did not have a boyish built, a 'flattener' was needed. The skirts of these dresses ballooned inwards near the ankles to show for the first time some well-turned ankles in femine shoes to cleverly make up for the absence of daring near the neckline!

In my painting, I exaggerated the length of the barrel line, the way it is often done on pattern packets. The soft detail of the belt shows off the dropped waistline which is the most outstanding characteristic of fashion from 1919 to well into the Twenties. The cloth is soft and silky and pastel-coloured.

Acrylic on Stretched Canvas