Ingrid Bergman is stunning when when she appears on the silver screen in the 1942 classic Casablanca, and the same in Hitchcock's 1946 masterpiece Notorious. Bergman was not only an icon of the silver screen, but an icon of fashion in a decade when the world was at war. In the 1940s the fashion houses of an occupied France were struggling with limited resources, a fabric shortage, and the rise of competing American fashion houses. In 1940s style was an experiment in sartorial renunciation - an "expression of circumstances" as opposed to frivolity. In 1947 Christian Dior introduced the New Look collection - a ‘make do and mend’ approach to fashion that didn't comprise "ideals of beauty, femininity and luxury." Ingrid Bergman was a life long fan of Dior - her fitted suits, pencil skirts, subtle accessories, and a slightly androgynous charm helped define the era.
A new book, Forties Fashion:From Siren Suits to the New Look, Jonathan Walford, founder of the Fashion History Museum of Canada, "is an essential sourcebook" of 1940s fashion; "a glorious celebration of everything from practical attire for air raids to street and anti-fashion." Around 250 illustrations reveal the wide range of fashions and styles that emerged throughout the Second World War, in Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan. Including period advertisements, images of real clothes, and first-hand accounts from contemporary publications.