Rationing to Ravishing – Fashion from the 1940s to the 1950s

Evolution of Women’s Style in the 1940s and 1950s –


A Vintage Fashion Exhibition curated by the Museum of Vancouver features stunning haute couture clothing garments by some of the great fashion designers from Paris, London, Berlin and New York, which pretty much covers the pole points of couture during that era. The exhibition is comprised from collections by fashion collectors Ivan Sayers and Claus Jahnke.


This exhibition ably shows these seismic shifts in fashion tastes. You’ll see everything from wartime wedding dresses, cocktail dresses, and gowns by the great couturiers, including Christian Dior, Madame Gres,Cristóbal Balenciaga, and Elsa Schiaparelli. Also featured is American designer Ceil Chapman , German designer Marie Latz, and Canadian designer Nan Taylor, who’s popular blue dress from 1943 sold in stores across Canada!
Amongst other delights you’ll see a wedding dress made from a parachute, Lauren Bacall’s shoes, Peruvian soprano Yma Sumac’s dress suit and a suit from Miss Germany 1955 !

Nan Taylor Blue Dress – 1940s

As we’ve written about before on Glamourdaze – due to the WW11 influence of fashion – women’s dress in reflecting their changing roles ( as it had done in the 1914-18 war ) developed more military and masculine lines – replacing the femininity of the 1930s. Shoulder pads replaced puffed sleeves and women looked stronger.


Rationing-to-Ravishing- Wedding dress

However almost as soon as the war ended – it was back in to frau frau land for the girls and fluffy Dior inspired dresses that were more of a nod backwards to the Edwardian era than a genuine evolution of style.


We heard about this exhibition via Kat Stark of Suites Culturelles ( great blog name!) . Kat interviews Claus Jahnke on her post and writes an excellent review of the exhibition which runs till March – if you’re lucky enough to be in the area – so head over to her blog to read more on her website.

You can also watch this enjoyable tour around the exhibition with curator Ivan Sayers on Shaw TV.

Visit the Museum of Vancouver online to read more. The exhibition continues till March 8th 2015

Sharing is caring!

1 thought on “Rationing to Ravishing – Fashion from the 1940s to the 1950s”

Comments are closed.