“Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select… I don’t know… that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. (…) However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.” – The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
One of my favorite quotes that I often use as an argument whenever someone tries to convince me that “I don’t care about fashion” is not a style.
So no, that shirt you decided to wear today is not just any shirt. And that jacket is not just a regular jacket, and there is a reason why you decided to wear it. And no, that tight fitting skirt that accentuates your waist is not just a skirt. Everything we wear has a history, a “when, how and why”. Even those pieces we consider contemporary, new and typical of the modern ages.
Because when you wear that tight high waisted skirt, and take those small steps into the world, there is a certain dose of confidence you always feel. Suddenly, the little girl becomes a woman ready to conquer. The way it “hugs” your body, covers the flaws and highlights the good, makes the pencil skirt a must have in every woman’s closet – and it’s been holding that title for years now.
Where does the pencil skirt come from? How did we go from pompous skirts and dresses to such a daring model that exposes so much. Interesting, the forerunner of the pencil skirt was the hobble skirt: in 1908., madam Berg was the first woman to fly the plane of Wright brothers. In order to prevent madam Berg’s skirt from going up in the air together with the plane, they decided to tie a rope around her ankles. As the photographs of this event traveled the world, it inspired designers from Paris. As you can imagine, it was made walking very hard.
The years to come were marked by World War I and World War II. So, how can a war make skirts tighter you might wonder. Well, first of all, there were restrictions – people could only use a certain amount of fabric to make clothes so it was necessary to come up with a new design. So, good bye A-line skirts and hello to straight skirts! Other than that, since men were “busy” with war, for the first time in history women had to leave the comfort of their homes and work to earn some money. Of course, it would not be very convenient to work while wearing tons of fabric.
We can thank Christian Dior for the modern pencil skirt we love to wear today. After the war was over, Dior made a great comeback with his New Look collection, that featured nostalgic voluminous A-Line skirts, that he made using as much fabric as he could (finally!), and something new – the pencil skirt!
Nothing said “glamour” and “modern women” like the pencil skirt. The straight skirt wasn’t just a straight skirt anymore – now it did wonders showing off your womanly curves. And the ladies loved it, even the famous movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe. And even though the length and the design were altered throughout time, it still does the same: it highlights you waist, hugs the hips and features a tight fit that requires you to take smaller steps.
And so, inspired by the story I have created this two piece. The skirt is below the knee and has a subtle cut on the back (so necessary for a pencil skirt if you plan on walking while wearing it 🙂 ). And as an icing on the cake, I have added modern pockets on the front. I usually like the tight / over-sized combination in order to balance my look, so I paired it with an over-sized blouse with a same pattern. Actually, the over-sized blouse originates from the same period, but, I’ll write about that some other time…
Stay tuned 🙂
Available for purchase at: http://www.etsy.com/listing/270217454/40s-fashion-two-piece-pencil-skirt-over?ref=shop_home_active_1 Please contact me if you got there after reading my blog for a 10% discount!