Sunday, March 28, 2010

Vintage magazines

The wonderful thing about my current research is that I can indulge in vintage fashion and needlework magazines with abandon. They are truly gems. Take this Needlecraft magazine from January, 1919.

In between stylishly drawn articles on sleeve shapes for the fashionable lady and advertisements for durable socks for children...

In between patterns for a child's crochet bedspread, featuring ducks, mice and bunnies, and excellent pie recipes including 'Conservation Meat Pie' (ingredients include dripping and cold cream of wheat)...

In between patterns for collars, centrepieces and refugee-bags, you find stories. In the case of this issue, a story entitled 'Cinderella'. The heroine is called Enid.

Enid arrives at the stenography pool looking drab and shabby. Later and somewhat mysteriously, she begins to appear at her desk in beautiful clothes and before you know it, she's engaged to the boss's son. She discloses her secret mid-way - she learned to design and sew her own clothes! Thanks to the Women's Institute, she becomes a Cinderella.

It is a very thinly disguised advertisement for the Women's Institute, but in terms of my own research, it does convey a change in the early twentieth century, where we begin to see Cinderellas emerge who work for a living and in the evenings, sew up marvelous concoctions of fashion in which to hit the town. She is enshrined in the Disney animated film, but she reappears in the twenty-first century as Giselle (Enchanted), too, or even Carrie, from Sex and the City, who may not make her own clothes, but certainly earns the money to indulge in her passion for Manola Blahniks.

1 comment:

titanium said...

sounds like a People's Friend magazine!