This striking portrait was pasted down in an album containing mostly Dublin images. Unfortunately, I have no way of seeing if there is any information on the back of it. The woman’s hair, makeup and clothing are typical of the 1940s. Dark lipstick, with the top lip slightly exaggerated, was also popular during this decade.
When researching the fashions of this era, I find the following titles invaluable: Jonathan Walford’s Forties Fashion:From Siren Suit to The New Look (2010) and Colin McDowell’s Forties Fashion and the New Look (1996).
The unusual numerical pattern on the above dress reminds me of a 1941 fabric called ‘Coupons’ which was based on the number of ration coupons required for certain types of clothing during the World War Two. This pattern was reproduced by Persephone Books for the endpapers of their beautiful edition of wartime stories by Mollie Panter-Downes entitled Good Evening, Mrs Craven.
In Ireland, clothes rationing was announced by the Minister for Supplies on the 8th June 1942. See Clare County Library’s site for examples of Irish ration books in their collections.