Find out what made this decade so fashionable.
For our second of four prom looks, we drew inspiration from classic couple Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. They met at the end of WWII in 1944 on the film To Have and Have Not. They went on to have a 13-year romance and appeared in several other movies together including the film noir classic The Big Sleep and crime film Key Largo. Let's take a look at the fashion and events in the decade that made them famous.
WWII began in 1939 and greatly influenced the fashion of the '40s. The new decade brought military-inspired looks in terms of tailored styles, broad square shoulders, plain colors, clean lines, and conservative use of fabric.
Sally Victor was a famous New York hat designer in the '40s, known for her collapsible straw hat, Grecian pillbox, the Flemish sailor hat, and the war workers turban, to name a few.
In production, shoe manufacturers began using alternatives to leather, including a form of plastic known as vinylite (shown here). Heels on shoes were thick and rounded, peeptoe styles were common.
The "Rosie the Riveter" (shown here) work incentive poster of the early '40s represented the muscle strength of women working in factories. The working-class look was in vogue.
The Andrew Sisters were America's most popular singing group. The siblings were known as "America's Wartime Sweethearts." One of their biggest hits was "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." The '40s saw the birth of Swing and Big Band music, as well. People danced to the tunes of the Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie Orchestras.
Every industry was affected by the War Effort, including beauty. Silk and nylon hosiery was scarce. Women had their legs painted to get the look. They even had black eyeliner drawn down the backs of their legs to look like a stocking seam!
American women showed their support for the troops overseas by wearing red lipstick. Elizabeth Arden used this Philippe Halsman photo of Connie Ford to launch their 1941 national ad campaign for "Victory Red" lipstick.
This famous shot of a soldier kissing a nurse in the middle of Times Square captures the emotion of the end of WWII. It was shot by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt on V-J Day on August 14, 1945 and made it into the pages of Life magazine a week later.
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