Every decade has its style icon and it was Dame Vera Lynn, whose death was announced on Thursday morning, who epitomised the keep calm and carry on wearing lipstick glamour of the Forties. As she serenaded troops around the world, it was as much her steadfast dedication to looking the Forces Sweetheart part as her melancholic tunes which chimed with and inspired millions at home and abroad.
三级成人视频Thanks to a dressmaker mother and a stage career which began at the age of seven, Lynn’s understanding that image is as vital as your material as a performer was honed early on, and she shaped a personal style as distinctively successful as Lady Gaga’s today; but where Gaga dons meat dresses or bejewelled catsuits, Lynn’s schtick was practical yet polished elegance with the occasional flash of roof-raising razzle dazzle.
Lynn was a posterwoman for the victory rolls hairstyle which is now synonymous with how women kept up appearances while contributing to the war effort; the pinned back curls had something of the Hollywood starlet to them, but also kept hair off the face for women working in munitions factories, on the land - or, as in Lynn’s case, performing for troops across the world. No doubt the style would have come in handy during her visits to some of the most hostile fighting environments.
“She sang until her make-up was running in dark furrows down her cheeks, until her dress was wet with sweat, until her voice had become a croak,” wrote Corporal Frederick Weedman of watching Lynn perform in Burma. “She was the only Ensa star we ever saw in the jungle. There were a lot of men, that hot, humid evening, who were grateful to Vera Lynn for having remembered them so far from home.”
Another symbol of Lynn’s gutsy-glam style was her love for the utility suit, a look which the government encouraged women to adopt thanks to its sturdy, fabric-optimising silhouette and ability to be worn for days in a row, interchanging blouses and knits underneath. For many of her performances, Lynn eschewed movie star splendour in favour of looking appropriately on message, though she always elevated the look with a dazzling brooch - an example for women in making the best of their rationed wardrobes.
三级成人视频There are moments when Lynn embraced the Marlene Dietrich school of style thought. Though always rooted in looking just-sensible-enough, she wore opulent fur coats cut with the wide, masculine shoulders which were on-trend in wartime and was often photographed in embellished silk blouses which wouldn’t look out of place on a Miu Miu catwalk today.
三级成人视频In one 1940 shot, she looks straight out of the pages of Vogue in a sequinned gown with a dark slick of lipstick, in another photo shoot, depicting her painting in her garden, she is wholesomely pretty in a floral tea dress while another set of photos show her in full khaki comforting soldiers in Burma. It’s a trio of scenarios which run the gamut of Lynn’s Forties style arsenal. Like a royal, Dame Vera Lynn’s sense of occasion was pitch perfect, always able to pick the right look for the right moment -and a timeless example of fashion’s important, morale-boosting power in a moment of crisis - sweethearts don’t do dowdy, after all.
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