Fashion in Theater: The Merry Wives of Windsor

Fashion in Theater: The Merry Wives of Windsor - Brittanie...

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Brittanie Langford World of the Play November 28, 2010 Background Paper The play Men Should Weep, written by Ena Lamont Stewart, takes the look at the lives of a family living during the depression of the 1930s in Scotland. The production put on a the national theatre takes great care in portraying the fashion during that period, and how it was worn and designed on all sides of the poverty line. Take a quick glance at the atmosphere of the world in the 1930s and you will see a decade that had its fair share of turmoil. It began with a crippling depression, with 3 million people out of work in Britain, 6 million in Germany, and 14 million in America. Even worse, the declaration of WWII ended the decade. It’s easy to dismiss things like fashion of the 30s as something unimportant and irrelevant, when held up next to the climate of the 30s but fashion and beauty were still important to people during that time. In this paper I will walk you through the fashion and style during this time. We will look at how it adapted and changed from the ending of the roaring twenties, up until the beginning of the Second World War. It is important to note that during the First World War women had experienced their first taste of independence. With the men gone away, they took up jobs that needed to be done and were able to earn their own paychecks and buy things for themselves. 1 By the end of the decade the fashion industry had experienced extreme highs and were simply not prepared for the economic downturn. Because of the failing 1 1 Hill, Daniel Delis. As Seen in Vogue: a Century of American Fashion in Advertising . Lubbock: Texas Tech UP, 2004. Print. p34.
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economic structure, the fashion sector had to adapt to the changes in people spending habits. “The rich were tightening their belts, spending less and making economies where they could,” writes Maria Costantino in Fashions of the Decades , “designers responded by cutting their prices, by producing new lines of ready-to-wear clothes to make up for the shortfall in orders for couture garments, and by producing more practical clothes made of economical and washable fabrics.”
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