04 April 2010

Fashion Fads

The 9th Edition Carnival of Canadian Genealogy features “Canadian Fashion Fads.” Hosted by Looking4Ancestors, all the entries will be presented after 16 April. Bet this will attract a ton of submissions. This post could have some appropriateness for Easter when it was customary to don a new bonnet to go to church and/or walk about town in expectation of fine weather.

Any females amongst us remember fuzzy synthetic sweaters in the 1950s? Ancestors of today’s fleece tops? I was almost hysterical because my mother deemed them firetraps that could scorch me to death (honour thy parents won the day). Ditto the short-lived must-have very see-through sleazy nylon blouses. One had to have a wardrobe of slips for modesty’s sake with said short-lived fashion moment. Remember slips? Having to wear one so your skirt or dress wouldn’t cling? ... youngsters now shaking their puzzled heads at life before the great jeans revolution.

Instead I feel much more inclined to highlight a more bygone era which produced fashion substantial enough for the occasional modern lapse into retro nostalgia. When girls wore GIRL things. When some of them had mothers who made their clothes and had to suffer wearing them.

My mother posed for this ca.1925 so all the relatives back in Europe could admire the couture. I can’t say how Canadian it was, what with maternal grandmother probably sewing her fingers to the bone over her imported fashion magazines. Somehow I sense that Mom might have had hysterics at the thought of wearing this to where? School? Check the cool shoes. Where on earth did they come from? Not Thunder Bay.
This must have been a little later. The teenager posed for another demonstration of the good life in Canada. Despite the solemn pose, you can see the flapper era beginning with all the influences it spread. Fab hat! Grandma was really knocking herself out.  
Mom in the 1930s (the overseas relatives are insatiable). I try hard to imagine what that coat was made of. And hey, is that a precursor on her head of the trapper’s hat popular today? Nevertheless, I think this girl just wants to go places and have fun.
Fast forward to matron status. I just had to show this. Taken by a street photographer in Vancouver, 1940s. Remember street photographers? It must have been windy. Otherwise that would have been a very strange hat. But get a load of the furs. A load of foxes. Where are they now? I could use a few to stop the drafts in my window. Anyone recognize the Vancouver street?

So ends a little venture into Canadian fashion of one era. Until I can find some of those 50s and 60s amusements. Almost makes me yearn for the days of dressing up to go to balls. You supported those events because they were good causes and you did glamour. Now we mostly get glamour vicariously from celebrity watching.


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this post Brenda! I am a big fan of the Art Deco period and the elegant design of everything from industrial to fashion from that era appeals to me.I find that when surfing the channels, more often than not I end up watching the TCM black and white movies from the 30's and 40's. Thanks for the post!

CallieK said...

I went through a box of old photos when I was home last week and my relatives wore some interesting fashion statements too! Maybe I should enter that contest!


Greetings Brenda,
I am so glad you participated in this edition of the CGC. Great post and fab photos! I hope you can find some more photos from the '50s and '60s.

alineskee said...

Brenda, you have an awesome site, love it. Am giving you the Ancestor Approved award you can pick it up on my site acadianroots.

Anonymous said...

50's and '60s ? That's almost brand new! LOL......

BDM said...

Thank you for the award, Aline! I'm enjoying your blog and all its related activities. Such a busy lady!