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In September 1939- just three weeks after the outbreak of war- Gladys Mason wrote briefly in her diary about events in Europe: Hitler watched German siege of Warsaw. City in flames. And- she continued- Had my wedding dress fitted. Lovely.For Gladys Mason- and for thousands of women throughout the long years of the war- fashion was not simply a distraction- but a necessity - and one they werent going to give up easily. In the face of bombings- conscription- rationing and ludicrous bureaucracy- they maintained a sense of elegance and style with determination and often astonishing ingenuity. From the young woman who avoided the dreaded forces bloomers by making knickers from military-issue silk maps- to Vogues indomitable editor Audrey Withers- who balanced lobbying government on behalf of her readers with driving lorries for the war effort- Julie Summers weaves together stories from ordinary lives and high society to provide a unique picture of life during the Second World War. As a nation went into uniform and women took on traditional male roles- clothing and beauty began to reflect changing social attitudes. For the first time- fashion was influenced not only by Hollywood and high society but by the demands of industrial production and the pressing need to make-do-and-mend. Beautifully illustrated and full of gorgeous detail- Fashion on the Ration lifts the veil on a fascinating era in British fashion.... Please click here to ask a question
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