Fashions from a Photograph

I’m besotted with this vintage photograph my friend Bodhi gave me for my birthday (which was yesterday – more on this later). It’s a curious picture, depicting some sort of large, well-dressed gathering in a rural setting. The figures in the photograph seem to suggest that it comes from the late 40s.

Whilst the ladies are sporting slightly New Look-esque frocks, the skirts fall short of being complete circles, and there aren’t any of the wild prints or florals typical of the 50s, making me think it’s 40s. The slightly puffed sleeves and impeccable tailoring also scream 40s.

In this close-up, I love the stylish lady on the right with the wonderful white sunglasses framing her eyes – what a babe.

You can see the men are wearing abstract print ties, and some are a little wider which was common in post-war fashions for men (called “the Bold Look”). Also, check out the table laden with liquor at the centre here, and that man to the left pouring himself another glass of wine.

Whatever this gathering is for, it looks like everybody is having a smashing time. I enjoyed catching this man mid-dance:

I’m also a little fond of this woman holding a drink at the bottom of the photograph. She looks perturbed, or displeased, or bored at the very least. She and her friends clearly looked up and caught the photo being taken, even though nobody else seems to have noticed.


Most importantly, this photo features some great hats. I wish I had little felt numbers to perch on my head in the Wintertime like these wonderful ladies.

I like these sorts of photographs that capture everyday people in their casual getups, probably moreso than those that immortalise Old Hollywood vixens. This is such an excellent snapshot into a fabulous, though indeterminable rural gathering.

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