This glamorous lady was photographed as she walked by the railings of Trinity College in 1948. Her outfit adheres to the styles of the day: a black Mandarin hat complete with spotted veil; trapeze swing coat; clutch bag; gloves and a large leaf-shaped brooch. All were the height of fashion for 1948!
The handwriting on the print adds to rather than detracts from the photograph and although it is not a perfectly composed image it gives a real sense of Dublin in 1948 and shows how clothes were worn and fashions adopted on the street.
To get an idea of what else was happening in the city and a flavour of the times, I searched the newspapers for today’s date in 1948. The headlines were full of the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Conference and the ‘Palestine Problem’. According to Seán Ó Faoláin ‘Raidió Éireann was starved of finances’ and another article covered ‘Suggestions to improve Dublin Traffic.’
The Grafton Cinema was showing Spencer Tracey and Mickey Rooney in Boys’ Town and the Carlton Cinema advertised the following: ‘Gorgeous and Gay! Exotic and Exciting! Lovely glamorous Yvonne de Carlo with George Brent, Brod Crawford, Andy Devine and Arthur Treacher in Slave Girl – dazzling Technicolor! Come to the 3.30 show – house booked out for tonight!’ If you didn’t want to go to the cinema there was always ‘Midget Car Racing’ at Santry Speedway or horseracing at Baldoyle.
Miss Louise Brough won the Ladies’ Singles Championship at Wimbledon and there were advertisements for rubber boots, sandals, pilgrimages to Lough Derg, Andrews Liver Salts, Elastic Stockings and Flak DDT offered to ‘Knock down that louse.’
Speaking of street style, the Where were you? team are putting on an exhibition of images from their Dublin youth culture book. It is part of the amazing Photo Ireland Festival 2012 and is at the Lighthouse Cinema, Smithfield from Saturday 7th July.
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Posted in 1940s Fashion Ireland, tagged 1940s Fashion, 1940s Ireland, Cassidy's Shop Dublin, Found Photographs, Irish Snapshots, Switzers Department Store, The Emergency, Vernacular Photography, World War II on August 18, 2011 |
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Just a quick post to say that I’ll be giving a talk tomorrow, Friday 19th of August, at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, on the subject of fashion and dress in Ireland during World War Two. Amongst other things, I’ll be talking about rationing, demob suits and how according to Switzers Department store “slacks were playing an increasingly important role in the modern young lady’s wardrobe.”
The tour starts at 12.30 and further details can be found here.
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Posted in 1940s Dublin weddings, tagged 1940s Dublin, 1940s Fashion, 1940s hats, Double-breasted suits, Found Photographs, Irish costume history, Irish Photography, Slouch hats, Studio Portraits, Topper hats on June 13, 2011 |
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I am giving a talk in August on the subject of Irish fashion during World War Two and in preparation I had a look at some of my photos from the 1940s. As these two Dublin wedding portraits demonstrate, the slouch hat was a ‘must-have’ for any fashionable women. Tilted or asymmetric hats of all styles were very popular including the topper .
The July 1944 advertisement boasts that the high-end Dublin department store Slyne’s was selling slouch hats in a variety of colours.
Neither bride wears white and both of them have sensible shoes and outfits which could be worn again for everyday use.
Interestingly, both grooms are wearing double-breasted pin-striped suits with large lapels. The trousers are wide-legged with turn-ups.
What I like about both these studio portraits is that they show how regular Dubliners embraced fashion trends and that despite the formal studio setting and poses, the sitters’ personalities still manage to shine through.
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Posted in 1940s Fashion Ireland, tagged 1940s, 1940s Fashion, 1940s Ireland, An Óige - Irish Youth Hostel Association, Avoca, County Wicklow, Cycling, Floral Frocks, Found Photographs, Ireland, Irish Photography on October 12, 2009 |
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This series of snapshots shows a group of young women travelling around Wicklow in the 1940s. They were members of An Óige – the Irish Youth Hostel Association which was founded in 1931 to encourage young people to appreciate the Irish countryside through hostelling. It was part of a larger movement in Europe which promoted wholesome outdoor activities!
The first photo shows a group who are all wearing floral dresses. Jo Turney and Rosemary Harden compiled an excellent book on floral frocks throughout the 20th century to mark an exhibition held in the Bath Fashion Museum in 2007. The Victoria and Albert Museum’s Costume Collection also includes a cotton floral dress from this period and a rayon dress with a similar cut to the blouses and skirts shown in the third image above.
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