The light wasn't great in the 'workroom' display of the @nationaltrustvic Night Life exhibition, but I wanted to capture this 1940 self-spotted evening frock as my mother reckoned her mother had a very similar one. (I meant to seek it out in photo albums when we got back, but as it turned out it was late and I was rekt.) This is a 'transitional' gown from the sylph-like bodycon gowns of the 1930s to the weirdly modest and structured 1940s gowns, whose emphasis shifted to the shoulders and hips. You can't see it in this pic, but this gown has a ruched 'polonaise' bustle: a retro look. Polonaise-style ruched overdresses were first popular in the 1770s, and made a comeback a century later as part of the early 1870s Dolly Varden fad. The 1940s bustle is more like a peplum: extra decorative drapery in the back, shifting the dress's volume to the rear.
  • incrediblemelkThe light wasn't great in the 'workroom' display of the @nationaltrustvic Night Life exhibition, but I wanted to capture this 1940 self-spotted evening frock as my mother reckoned her mother had a very similar one. (I meant to seek it out in photo albums when we got back, but as it turned out it was late and I was rekt.) This is a 'transitional' gown from the sylph-like bodycon gowns of the 1930s to the weirdly modest and structured 1940s gowns, whose emphasis shifted to the shoulders and hips. You can't see it in this pic, but this gown has a ruched 'polonaise' bustle: a retro look. Polonaise-style ruched overdresses were first popular in the 1770s, and made a comeback a century later as part of the early 1870s Dolly Varden fad. The 1940s bustle is more like a peplum: extra decorative drapery in the back, shifting the dress's volume to the rear.

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