6 ISSUES FOR JUST £6 Subscribe to Yorkshire Life today CLICK HERE

Vintage fashion - The style of Wallis Simpson

00:32 20 February 2012

Pretty in Pink dress – its high neckline and low hemline are trademarks of depression-era fashion

Pretty in Pink dress – its high neckline and low hemline are trademarks of depression-era fashion

Yorkshire vintage fashion expert Clare Quartermaine explains why she's in love with Wallis Simpson's wardrobe

Madonnas directorial debut W.E. a film that follows the scandalous love affair between King Edward VIII and the divorced American socialite known as that woman looks set to be one of the highlights of my year. But its not the acting or the script that have got my heart racing its the clothes.

Wallis Simpson might have made headlines for her part in the Kings decision to abdicate, but she was also known for her incredible sense of style, making her a celebrated fashion icon of the 1930s and beyond. She was always impeccably dressed and, as one of the first clients of Christian Dior, wore the very latest fashions.

Images of her continue to inspire and fascinate lovers of heritage fashion across the globe including me. Mrs Simpson is the direct inspiration behind a collection of 1930s dresses on my vintage fashion website, 20th Century Foxy.

The 1930s was a difficult era in history, marked by the great depression and increasing austerity. Fashions during this period are fascinating in that they mark the duality between austerity and sensuality.

As the depression began to affect the public, a conservative approach displaced the flippant fashions of the 1920s. Hems got lower, necklines got higher and waistlines returned to their natural place, marking the return of a more womanly figure. But eveningwear saw daring bare backs and contour-hugging bias cuts on sensual flowing fabrics.

Our Pretty in Pink dress has all the trademarks of the 1930s, a high neckline, bow detail, low hemline and a womanly cut. Our hugely feminine wide pants have an iconic look, achieved through painstaking research of original 1930s patterns. And our Anissa dress has intricate keyhole detailing and vintage-inspired flower embroidery, harking back to a very different time.

A time when fashionable American women could turn the heads of impressionable English men and almost bring down the monarchy in the process.



The print version of this article appeared in the March 2012 issue of Yorkshire Life

We can deliver a copy direct to your door order online here

0 comments

Shop with us at Great British Life

More from Style

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Cycling in Yorkshire Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

A couple from Ilkley are helping people of all shapes and sizes look the part as they follow in the tracks of the Tour riders

Read more
Monday, April 20, 2015
House of Elliot

The destination for special occasion wear in Halifax

Read more
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Ragdoll of Pudsey, Leeds

Joyce Pratt opened Ragdoll of Pudsey in 1976 and her daughter Maxine joined them a year later after leaving school. Neither had any formal training but both showed an eye for fashion and a head for business from the start.

Read more
Monday, March 30, 2015
Nuffield Health Hospital, Derby

In the last two decades, increasing numbers of people of all ages have started to realise that the key to a long and healthy life is to get active and exercise.The benefits exercise has to offer are considerable. However, for some people, there is sometimes a price to pay : injury related to their sporting activity.

Read more
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Nuffield Health Hospital, Derby

Every year, 1.6 million adults in the United Kingdom develop back pain that lasts beyond three months. Over 5 million people develop chronic pain, but only two thirds of people will recover and it has been estimated that back pain alone costs the economy £12.3 billion per year.

Read more
Friday, February 27, 2015
Lavender spa

A guide to some of the leading spa breaks and treatments in Yorkshire

Read more

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP



Yorkshire's trusted business finder