Monday, July 8, 2013

1940's Inspired Dresses

I've entered the "Shabby Apple Dare to Design" contest.  They are looking for 1940's inspired dresses, skirts, or blouses.  The 1940's is one of my favorite eras for fashion, so this sounded like fun to me.  I had a bit too much fun and couldn't limit myself to one dress.   Here are my entries:

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


  1. Beautiful! Great job- fingers crossed that you win :)

  2. What tremendously, timelessly beautiful designs - I would gleefully wear any one of them (and am especially fond of the classic B&W suit). Best of luck, dear gal!

    ♥ Jessica

  3. Thank you Jessica. I think you would really good in that suit!

  4. My goodness lady, you are talented! That first design in white is fantastic and I want it! They should totally use that! Great job!

  5. Thanks Jamie. One day you should give us a view of your whole vintage collection in one photo. I'm sure it's extensive.