Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A Swedish tiger

This cute creature was created in 1941 and was part of a vigilance propaganda campaign in Sweden. The slogan "En svensk tiger" is a pun. Tiger is tiger in Swedish as well, but it can also mean "to keep silent", meaning that a Swede don't blab secrets to strangers.

The designer was Bertil Almqvist and in Sweden he is also well known for a series of children books, mainly written in the late 40's-50's, about a Stoneage family who travels around the world, for example Egypt, USA and Britain. They even travel to the moon and Mars!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Looking back in order to go forward

My grandmother a New Years Eve in the 1930's.
Late-ish 30's. Love the corsage!
More of her fab 30's style can be found here.
This blog will soon have its second birthday and I feel the need to talk a little of why it came to be in the first place. You probably already know, but bear with me. I read Alla kvinnors book (“Every Woman’s Book) when I was in my teens and was completely fascinated by the idea of building a co-ordinated wardrobe over the course of four years. I once again got the book in my hand, two years ago; it came at a point where most of my clothes felt too old, too un-flattering and too uncoordinated. It wasn’t very hard to decide to follow the suggestions in the book to get my own 40’s wardrobe.

A huge inspiration was my grandmother Greta, who, born in 1913, would have been just the right age and economical range Alla kvinnors book was aimed to. Because, as a friend pointed out, the book isn’t really for every woman. The wardrobe is clearly meant for a woman with a rather generous budget, if still not so wealthy that the need to re-make and mend clothes could be omitted. A woman who could buy clothes, but also make them. My grandmother got married in 1943 and she and my grandfather both made a bit of a class journey. She was a working class girl, albeit not from the poorest circumstance, her mother was a housewife and her parents owned their house. My grandfather’s parents were prosperous farmers, but when they both died the year he turned 23 he used his inheritance to give himself an education. After their marriage my grandmother, reluctantly, gave up her job to stay at home and they lived quite well on one salary. They had a nice house, went on holidays abroad in the early 50’s, when that was quite new and expensive and in the early 60’s they built a summer house in the archipelaggio. And one of the reasons they did live so well, was my grandmother’s taste, swing skills and ability to basically make both hers and my mother’s wardrobes from scratch. I don’t think she owned a copy of Alla kvinnors book, but it would have suited her taste.
Grandmother in the early 30's.

I have made some adaptations on my wardrobe plans. For example, year one has been split into two years, so the plan is now five years instead of four. The reason for that is that the wardrobe begins with the idea that several garments already hangs there, which made year one demand much more garments than the other three. I have also made a few changes when it comes to colour and material. I’m not getting myself a real fur coat, but will make one in faux fur. It was impossible to find a tweed coat in the desired colours, so I bought a grey wool coat instead. Still, I try to keep as close as possible to the original idea and if I change something I do my best to make it fit. I have also moved a bit style-wise. I started out in the late 40's, but now I lean more and more to the very first years of the decade as well as the very late 30's.
 I have made several posts where I present information from Alla kvinnors bok and if you are new to this blog, then I think you will find it worthwhile to go back and read those posts. The five years can be found at the top of the blog. Garments that I have made, or bought, can be found there with pictures and links to their original blog post.

Two posts on when to wear what styles:
Three posts on fabric used in the 1940's;
How to choose a flattering hairstyle

Grandmother on another New Year's Eve in the 30's. I still have the blouse!
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