To me this first dress is the quintessential 1940's look. It was inspired by an old photo of Lana Turner, but it is a blend of 3 different dresses, including one worn by Barbara Stanwyck in an old publicity shot. Although this dress can be done in almost any color and floral prints, I chose to paint it in white. As for fabric, a rayon or polyester. Something in a medium weight that will drape well.
These next paintings are two variations of the same dress. They were inspired by a photo still of Ava Gardner. I envisioned the first dress in a lightweight brocade and the second in a rayon or polyester.
This next dress popped up in a dream right before I woke up one morning. It wasn't a very clear dream so I painted it two ways. The dress on the right with accordion pleats. I see it in a fabric that will flow while you are dancing. I call it "Swing Time" because I see Ginger Rogers wearing it.
This last painting is inspired by all those classic films I like to watch, with Claudette Colbert, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall etc. They always looked so polished in these great suits and hats. I show it here in black and white, but I think it would look good in chocolate and pink as well. Fabric: A wool blend or gabardine.
Check out other vintage inspired dresses at shabbyapple.com