THAT 1940s LOOK AND HEART!

Vogue Nov 15, 1939

The 1940s brought to light, as with earlier decades and epochs, wonders of invention and tantalizing glimpses of sensibility teetering upon really breaking loose. Perhaps because that moment of the forties came to be pummelled by war of unprecedented ferocity and regrouping of unprecedented complexity, its purchase upon a new world took on special dark, ironic and ardent qualities. Therefore, in our little survey of the time as shown by vintage graphic design an overriding question will be, “Did that distressed period derive special traction in its participating in the ongoing drama of the new?”

Surrounded by a whimsical accessory and a slate of routes–débutantes; New York Season–rushing to conjure away debilitating fears, this iconic figure by the ever-alert Eric pulls herself together to the point of clear-eyed engagement with a world of rampant hostility. Her jungle cat garment helps convey the situation of one’s time left being acutely delicious and dramatic.   

 

freedom-of-speech

Norman Rockwell, that vigorous visual poet of the American heart, paints a picture of not merely laudatory forthrightness but the stress of adjusting to unpopular and difficult motives.

 

 

lets-go-step-it-up

A time of revelling in technical skills and drawing confidence in this way for a range of challenges going far beyond the War.

 

 

Lets All Fight

This design comes even closer to the wider implications of war-footing.

 

 

colliers_mar_1940_no label

Fashion design not merely aping the warriors but in fact having become involved with a more complicated combatant. This sense of a new toughness pre-dates by more than a year the specific entry of the US into the European and Pacific theatres.

 

 

Pitch-In-and-Help-idvp

Exigencies of war are shown here to have introduced exponentially different mobility and interaction with others far beyond the family scope. This widespread uprooting of regional bailiwicks has the makings of the onset of the present-day vast trajectory of have-skills-will travel.

 

 

you-re-next

Pin-ups are not new and not news. Pin-ups sharing a society-wide sense of the absurd are.

 

 

cattolica

Dads beginning to be in short supply. Moving on…

 

 

radiomelodie

Disruption on both sides of the conflict. What lasts is the spate of lone wolves.

 

 

Harpers Vertes Apr,1942

The look and the mystery of the surreal.

 

 

persil

Even in Switzerland a sweetly disconcerting image of high-gloss savoir faire!

 

 

 

 

 

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