Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Flesh Start

Once upon a time stockings came in only two colors: black for the winter, white for the summer. But short skirts made stockings an important fashion accessory and in 1922 "flesh-colored" stockings were available--as long as your flesh was pinkish-beige. 

Image: Pinterest
 
Image: wearinghistory.blog
Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, The Great Gatsby (2013)

It would be another twenty-five years before brown and black-skinned legs were acknowledged.

Image: collectorsweekly.com
 
Image: Pinterest

Image: Pinterest

Also in 1922, French count Chardonnet brought "artificial silk" to America. The new fabric, called vicose, was made by pushing nitro-cellulose through a machine-run jet. Vicose was cheaper than silk and sexier than cotton so the Flapper Girl could show off her Charleston legs without spending a fortune.
 
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On February 16, 1937, Dr. Wallace Hume Carothers received patent number 2,071,251 for a new miracle fabric called "nylon". Little could he suspect that on May 15, 1940, when the first nylon stockings (which were sheerer than silk) went on sale they prompted a veritable run on U. S. department stores. It was reported that 780,000 were sold on the first day alone.

Image: Pinterest

Kate Winslet in Mildred Pierce (2011)

Alas, wartime shortages would soon forced women to replace their precious  nylons with leg makeup.

Image: 1900.org.uk
Image: pennydreadfulvintage.com

~ Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger ~

2 comments:

  1. AHHH! The fifth picture from the bottom? The one above nylon? I adore the stockings with the blue and red shoes. I also love the blue shoes. Like, LOVELOVE them. *wants*

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