Vintage Style: From War To Hollywood To Modern Fashion

Vintage Style: From War To Hollywood To Modern Fashion

Vintage Style: From War To Hollywood To Modern Fashion

The modern Western culture sure has shifted and morphed multiple times over the recent decades. From the brutalist era of hard and large straight cut buildings to the contemporary revival of old fashions before our time in the hipster emergence. Yet the style that never gets old and reimagined are the years of what we may determine now to be vintage. This style would encompass the late World War 2 years all the way up to the mid-1960s.

Stylists and designers may argue over the true date this kind of genre began, but there are only two ways modern civilization remembers it. Men who went off to fight for their country hung up posters of alluring women, dressed traditionally and with a little tongue in cheek posed for them. It was a tactic governments used to motivate the men and give them hope. The other way we remember the vintage days of fashion is the post-war boom of fashion in Hollywood. If you’re interested in how subtle yet captivating this fashion sense became and how you can bring it into your life look no further and read on.

Pistons, cannons, flames and her

Nowhere is the pin-up girl more powerful than in the era of piston engine dogfights. World War 2 pilots were each assigned an aircraft, and during their long hours of boredom waiting on the ground, they’d personalize their steel bird. Women with medium skirts and stockings in a green field having a picnic, gorgeous black-haired women in dressing gowns and military secretaries in their uniforms were just some of the kinds of characters the men painted on their aircraft.

It wasn’t just the figure of a beautiful woman willing them on or giving them hope of a stunning girl waiting for them back home that made these decals important, and they were artworks in themselves. It was truly a spirit of power and determination that these pin-up girls embodied. The fighter planes were powered by piston engines, laden with cannons and shooting flames out of their exhausts and in this life of danger, a beautiful woman accompanied them into the belly of the beast. It wasn’t just fashion or style that birthed the era of vintage, and it was a symbolic significance to the men risking their lives for freedom.

Lights, camera, action  

Post-war Hollywood films slowly but surely entered into the lives of everyone through the power of television. When technicolor came onto the scene, life leapt out of the black and white and firmly into the rainbow. Now the dresses, necklaces, earrings and shoes of the vintage women had a character of their own. This most famous person of this time period is, of course, the breathtakingly beautiful Marilyn Monroe.

Visit to see the artworks of her and the impact she had and is still having on vintage portrait painting. Of all the artists Andy Warhol made the most renditions of her face and painted her look in multiple forms. Using abstract colors that conflict and bounce off each other at the same time, her features have been accentuated. In fact, it’s an awkward yet intriguing take on what vintage is. Traditionally monotone colors yet bold as they were, made the dresses and style stand out in a sort of classical beauty approach. The vibrant palette chosen by the artist isn’t so much a rejection of this, but an exploration and testing of the vintage principals.  

Into the fray of modernity

Where might you possibly see vintage styles in the modern day? Looking at the popular music artists of late and recent, singers like Amy Winehouse, Katy Perry, Beyonce and Taylor Swift have all at one time worn a classic vintage dress. It’s worn at many festivals and holidays such as Halloween, dress up parties, award shows and even at weddings. It’s an alternative to modern dresses that use lighter fabrics and designs that show a little more skin. The reason why this genre of fashion is still popular is that it leaves a lot to the imagination. It shows a little bit of skin, but generally, it’s respectable yet alluring at the same time. Indeed the observer might say it also conjures imagery of a traditional family and woman as the object of desire, but historically this can be argued to be true only to an extent.

Countless styles have come and gone; some get brought back to life for a short while but ultimately head off into the sunset. Looking at the vintage era, it was more of symbolic fashion as due to it’s beginning, it never really shook this image off. Not often you get to attribute the success of a women’s fashion to men, but vintage is certainly that odd one out.


Image Credit: Woman

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About Me

Howdy, I'm Jess. Everything in life is a dream and most of us take it all for granted. Life needs to be celebrated in everything you do, especially the things you do every day.

Walt Disney said it best; If you can dream it, you can do it.

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