Edwardian fashion was similarly romantic in style to Victorian fashion. However, the 1910s saw a simplification of fussy Victorian silhouettes, with an emphasis on embellishment and innovation in design, as can be seen in these ultra-glam gowns. Waists were less waspy, hemlines were sometimes shorter and the relatively simplified shapes of gowns allowed the imaginative use of intricate beading, lacework and textures to shine.
Today women are bombarded with countless messages and images of how they are “supposed” to look in order to be considered attractive, and this was no different in the 1930s. As sports for women became more popular in recent years, the “boyish” athletic look was considered most desirable. This was until the late 1930s when romantic-inspired fashions made a return and softer more “feminine” curves became the vogue again. In 1938 LIFE magazine lauded 20 year old model June Cox as having the “ideal” figure (even though according to life insurance health statistics at the time she was about 5kgs underweight).
According to the magazine, “the ideal figure must have a round, high bosom, a slim but not wasp-like waist, and gently rounded hips.”
(Photos: Alfred Eisenstaedt—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)