Archive for March, 2010

Back in real time…………………..March 2010, I’m looking through the fabric archives and find the following 40’s/50’s examples of vintage design. Love the mix of colour and geometry, and for some reason they remind me of music. So for each one I’ve suggested an accompanying album…….just my opinion, feel free to disagree!

The Music Scene by Blockhead.

Sentimental Cooking by Langoth.

Tribute to the Sun by Luciano.

Ya-ka-may by Galactic.

Last of all……………………………………………….

XX by The XX.

For a splash of contemporary print, this dress from the Melt London summer 2010 collection.


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Back again in our seaside town (where of course, the sun always shines), the Melt girls are enjoying an era of post war peace. Now, laced with a dash of salt and sand, the exhuberance of a youth culture has begun to blow in the gusty winds of change.

Happiness: A state of well being. Contentment. Intense joy.

Unsurprisingly, by this time in the late 40’s, women both young and old, were fed up with the government’s insistence on them wearing Utility Clothing. War-time rationing meant a shortage of just about everything, including fabric. Buttons were limited to three per garment, the official hem length was nineteen inches from the ground and turn back cuffs were forbidden! Imagine the equivilent of Peter Mandelson and Gordon Brown choosing the content of your wardrobe!

The rather fabulous label sewn into Utility Clothing designs

But fortune smiled on our Girls, their sewing machines constantly hummed, and their scissors flew. Old curtains became jitterbugging skirts and white pillow cases were reborn as flirty, flared shorts.

They were well aquainted with the fashion of “Make Do and Mend”.

This was a forties directive now hijacked and consistently over-used by jounalists in the 21st century. Today it’s become a meaningless mantra, often used to describe wildly expensive clothes, that a designer wants to encourage their customer to feel worthy about. Yes, Dame Vivienne Westward that does include your recent collection, however well meaning the sentiment.

Milan 2010

Down and out designer style.

So in this time of shortages and no bananas, recycling was the real deal. It wasn’t trendy and it wasn’t a popular topic for a university dissertation, it was simply essential. And what it did have were some great posters.

Imagine the effect on todays consumer society from the following directive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Roll up, roll up, get your squander bugs here!

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cream and dove grey stripes for Melt London summer 10

Unlike men, stripes are forever faithful. They simply never leave!

Throw them in the back of a cupboard or shove them in a drawer, and in less than a blink of an eye those stripes will return, time and time again.

With the austere and drab war days now behind them, our trio of 40’s fashionistas, looked for fabric frivolity, and voila………..stripes were the answer. A celebration of all things seaside!

From beach canvas to cellophane wrapped sticky rock, (and even the accompanying wasps) there came a surrounding, dizzy riot of inspirational, twirling stripes.

serve very chilled !

seaside ingenue with great haircut

40's candy stripe delight

spotted stripes plus brogues...very cool.

a summer 2010 wink at 1947

retro style skirt, the perfect combo with a t shirt and those brogues.

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sun days happy sun days

The summer of ’47 was long and hot, with endless days of cloudless sunshine.

Many sea-front, sand peppered sandwiches were consumed as cotton clad bottoms scratched and shifted against the gritty canvas deck chairs.

Strawberry Mivvies dripped on pink, bare feet as the girls filled their notebooks with fashion ideas sported by the day trippers sauntering down the mile long pier.

Aaaaah cute, and note the three button knit worn over a lawn cotton dress. So on trend!

Girls just wanna have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pleated waist, rolled leg trousers & open toe flats with thin knits.

The perfect British summer time casual.

Melt London: 21st century trouser detail

Great with 40’s watermelon tulle.

or our………………

2010 tulle ruffles

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Once upon a time,  in a pre-sexualized age when people still believed in sticky, sweet fairytales,  there lived three friends in the summer of 1947.

The war was over and they could dream of freedom and glamour. Even in that small seaside town of candy flos and ice cream, the future possibilities seemed endless.

Being women (almost), of style, they were constantly in need of a fabulous wardrobe. Money was scarce, but imagination was plentiful. Just a few metres of fabric, a pile of fashion magazines and a singer sewing machine were all that were needed.

So that was how the story began.

Whilst the salty tides ebbed and flowed, the friends cut and stitched, three girls dreaming happily of their lives to come…………………………………..

Follow the tales of Ruth, Trudie and Jean, the inspiration behind the label, Melt London.

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