Masterclass: The Fashionable Forties with Vivien of Holloway!

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In our latest Vintage Styling Masterclass, we go back to utilitarian basics, putting together a sleek retro foundation set to perfectly show off the tailoring of this Forties-inspired Lana dress from Vivien of Holloway, with a little help from burlesque beauty Jessabelle Thunder! 

Ahead of The Goodwood Revival, we've put together a truly tailored vintage look using repro pieces. Often, mid-century style means big skirts and petticoats, but for an elegantly chic look, the Forties, with their boxy tailoring and strong lines, provide some wonderful inspiration for a little vintage-inspired power dressing. 

After um-ing and ahh-ing over which Forties styles we like best, the Lana Dress from Vivien of Holloway  proved a winner for all. A one-piece solution to your outfit problems, dresses are often the best way to channel clean tailored lines, especially in warmer weather. Although there are lots of Forties style dresses around, the Lana dress drew our eye for several reasons. 

 Strong tailoring is a look that we all aspire to pull off, but they key to it is finding the confidence to do so. As such, the structural draping of the Lana dress gives us a little something to work with when we start to put this look together. The square neckline is softened by several pleats and folds, the volume of which makes the most of smaller busts, while also softening the shape of bigger busts, so it doesn't look as if you're straining at the seams! Pleats at the waist and fabric gathers over the hip give a very Forties shelf-hip look, emphasising the waist with minimal effort. We've chosen this dress in a brown floral print to accent our Splendette jewellery, althought Vivien of Holloway bring it out in a huge range of patterns to suit every season. 

 The lovely Jessebelle Thunder wears our Coffee Glamour Seamed Stockings to top off this vintage inpsired look. These beautifully sheer stockings are designed with a wider welt to flatter every thigh, in a range of skintones and seam colours. 

Under this outfit, Jessabelle has gone for our classic Harlow Nouveau Bullet Bra in Vintage Peach, as well as a super-smoothing and ultra comfortable roll-on Harlow Girdlette in the same colour, for a little help creating that hourglass Forties figure. This set is very comfortable to wear for long periods, so perfect for those days where you find yourself with lots of jobs to do! 

Team with Splendette jewellery in an accent colour to this beautiful pattern (we've gone for a gorgeous emerald green!) and some vintage brogues, and you're good to go! 


Model: Jessebelle Thunder

By What Katie Did
Harlow Nouveau Bullet Bra, 30-40 A-FF - £35.00
Harlow Girdlette, UK/AU 8-18 - £42.00
Harlow Nouveau High Waist Knickers, UK/AU 8-18 - £26.50
Coffee Glamour Seamed Stockings, S/M or M/L - £10.00

By other designers:
Lana Dress by Vivien of Holloway
Jewellery by Splendette
Vintage shoes