Modes and Mannequins
First published a year after World War II ended, this fictional text was written for a generation of women starved by war rationing of both clothing and makeup. Speculation on the true identity of the author takes in Norman Hartnell and Edward Molyneaux. Written in the format of a fashion show, the fantastical narrative describes a stream of mannequins as they step onto the catwalk, each bedecked in robes made from yards of silk, velvet and brocade, in a myriad of colours. The reader is invited to sit back on an apple-green taffeta settee, in a beautiful Salon with its roses and crystal pendants, and enjoy the show. The intention is pure pleasure, and the dresses are ‘designed for the occasion’.