Monthly Archives: October 2011

Happy Fashion-Historical Halloween

I swear I have an actual new post coming soon (working two jobs is not conducive to blogging)…but for now, I thought I’d post a link to a great site that has some awesome historically-inspired Halloween costumes for women who don’t want to wear they typical over-priced polyester mini-dress costumes most stores sell.  At Take Back Halloween, you’ll find some creative costume ideas ranging from Glamour Grrls (including my favorites Anna May Wong and Jean Harlow) to Notable Women (my favorites being Christine de Pizan and Themistoclea).  If you can’t duplicate their costume ideas exactly, they at least provide a few last minute ideas and some inspiration!  My backup is always something out of my closet; this year, I think I might go 70’s with a pleated paisley dress that has a built-in ascot and sheer sleeves, nude heeled oxfords, and maybe a floppy hat.  But next year I will be attempting one of the historical ladies on that site!

Happy Halloween!  New post on the 1940’s coming soon, I swear.


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Filed under Fashion History

Top Ten Fashion Moments of Pre-Code 1930’s Hollywood

Clockwise from top left: Teresa Wright, Jean Harlow, Barbara Stanwyck, and Theresa Harris

Signaling the start of Hollywood’s so-called Golden Age, Depression-era cinema set the foundation for trends in film, culture, and fashion throughout the first half of the twentieth century.  The star-powered studio system, the moral conduct code, and the typical film personae were crafted and fleshed out during this period.  Directly following the gay twenties and collapsing into the economic disaster of 1929 and 1930, Hollywood sought to keep audiences paying to see films and fought to maintain a theatre-going culture, where seeing a film was an essential part of daily life.  In order to keep attendance high, studios sought the biggest stars, the best talent, and the most intriguing and sometimes raciest story lines.  Known as the pre-code (as in, the period prior to the enforcement of the Hays Code which restricted what was portrayed on film) era, the period from 1930 to about the middle of 1934 allowed for some of the freshest, most provoking portrayals on film the public had and ever would see (at least until the 1960’s).  During this period, women’s roles in films flourished, as pre-code starlets such as Barbara Stanwyck, Ruth Chatterton, Norma Shearer, and Greta Garbo were given meaty roles that went against the stereotypical ideals of femininity (as seen in the 1920’s archetypes).  Playing divorcees, professional women, ‘loose’ women who were never punished for their sexual depravity, maneaters, women who used men for their own personal gain, and on and on, pre-code actresses were really allowed to let loose on the silver screen.  Some of the most fun to watch performances were given during this period by women who modern film lovers often remember for their latter (more sober and classical) roles during the forties and fifties.

But what does all this mean in terms of fashion?  Continue reading


Filed under Fashion History, Fashion in Film