Almond, Kevin (2013) The Forties Effect: An Appraisal of the Definitive 1940’s Look and its Influence on Fashion. International Journal of Costume and Fashion, 13 (2). pp. 79-92. ISSN 2288-7490

This article explores 1940’s fashion. Much has been documented about the huge influence
Dior’s 1947 New Look had on fashionable clothing, as the industry conspired to reinvent itself as an
economic and cultural power after World War II. The introduction of highly feminised and luxurious
styles reinstated fashion as a viable concern globally and has arguably been recognised as the defining style of the 1940’s. During World War II the fashion system of design, manufacture and export within the western world, virtually ceased. Many dress historians (Arnold, 2008; Breward, 1997; Guenther,2004; McDowell, 1997; Robinson, 1976; Taylor, 1992; Steele, 1998; Veillon, 2002; Walford, 2008;
Wilson & Taylor; 1989) have suggested that fashion ideas froze from 1939 to 1947. Deeper research identifies that during this period of style and trend starvation, many diverse and interesting design ideas arose from the restrictions imposed and Veillon (2002, p.145), has suggested that this period instigated
what we now identify as Street Style (Polhemus, 2010). This research investigates the diversity of design ideas produced between 1939-1947 in order to establish whether pre or post 1947 can be upheld as the definitive 1940’s look, one that
influences contemporary fashion designers and one that we identify with as a conclusive style today.

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