The issues of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar of 1946 – 1948 and 1952 – 1954 are very interesting to study. They have very distinct style and noticeable design. First of all, many of the fashion shots of that time are black and white. The fashion artists and photographers of the 1946 -1948 and 1952 – 1954 that worked with colorful images had a tendency to employ contrasts in their works. The backgrounds of the beauty shots and fashion spreads of those times can be characterized by the use of plain backgrounds with minimum details.
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The main colors of 1946 are grey and black, the main shade used during 1947 is beige or mustard, in 1948 they used a lot of grey again. As for 1952, it is has significant impacts of ivory, cream and light blue, in 1953 the brighter shades started to be fashionable, the magazines are filled with tints of red and pink, in 1954 darker blue and red were the prevalent colors. The outfits the models in the photographs are wearing have multiple accessories that stand out yet keep the color composition together making it very light and homogenous.
The most interesting and significant element employed by fashion artists, designers and photographers of 1946 – 1948 and 1952 – 1954 is that the photographs with generally light and homogenous compositions of pastel colors always have bright parts and areas that stand out the most. For example there can be a model posing in a gloomy morning, the landscape or room around the model contains beige and grey colors, but the outfit the model is wearing is bright red.
Another variation of application of contrasts is including bright colors into the mainly light or plain outfit of models, for example inserting bright accents on the lips, shoes, scarves of the models (Vogue Magazine Archive, par. 1).
Advertisements on these issues of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar contain a lot of yellow and red colors they also use the colorful accents making some parts of the images stand out more than others. The difference between fashion shots and advertisements in that the former ones prefer gloomy and more solemn colors, while the latter use brighter and more cheerful shades.
One of the main Zeitgeist influences for both 1946 – 1948 and 1952 – 1954 is the fact that this is a post Second World War era. 1946 – 1948 are the years right after the end of the war nightmare, people tired of clothes regulations and limitations turned to fashion. This became the main Zeitgeist influence.
Fashion industry benefited a lot after the end of war. Some of the most famous beauty and fashion icons of this period of time were Ingrid Bergman, Rita Hayworth, and Hedy Lamarr. Their influences made soft, yet distinct hair waves and strict but elegant and noticeable outfits with distinct silhouettes popular. 1952 – 1954 were the years of the rising consumerism. Stylish clothes stopped being a luxury, everyone tried to be in trend.
The icons of this period of time were Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, whose styles are still copied by many women today (Style Icons From Every Decade (20’s-60’s), par. 17). Due to their influences richer and more interesting fabrics started to be popular, besides, these women became the first glamorous role-models bringing love for luxurious images and expressive clothes.
Style Icons From Every Decade(20’s-60’s). Listal. 2014.
Vogue Magazine Archive. Vogue. n. d. Web. 2014.