Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 3 (July 1, 1933)

Winter Evenings

Winter Evenings.

Now is the season of rough winds and furs; of cool sunshine and tweeds; of beating rain and umbrellas; but, in the clothes sense, most of all is it the season of frosty nights and stars, of the reawakening of halls and cabarets from their summer somnolence to the croon and beat of jazz, to the whirl of the social kaleidoscope. Colours gloat and bend and sway, and feet slither in rhythm. Now let your clothes sense come into play; flirt with silks, satins, velvets; dip your fingers in foamy greens, warm yellows and reds, royal purple and the chill of black; revel in the feel of the new season and then—choose your fabric, choose your shade and discover your figure in the new silhouette.


For bridge, or for more formal occasions, there is a wealth of fabrics from which to choose. Satins, dull or glowing, still hold their own. Georgette and lace, especially in combination, are softly beautiful. Angel skin (by the way, you can buy angel-skin ribbon, lovely and quite expensive) and crinkle crepes of all descriptions are new. For the “bud” what more charming than a frock of organdie, plain or embroidered, in primrose yellow or apple-green, moulded on princess lines, with great shoulder puffs emphasising the delicacy of the slim young neck—and no jewellery! But don't forget the silk lace mittens to tone.

Among the new materials, velvets hold pride of place. They range from a sombre deep-piled richness to a warm silky suppleness. They are here to suit all types, from the older and state-lier to the fairer and fluffier. But they are specially kind to the former.

The New Silhouette is made for velvet—the shade and sheen of the pile enhances the beauty of the long classic line, moulded to the figure. The return of the princess style and the slightly higher waist line is important. The wheel of fashion has turned, and we see the silhouette of the early nineties in a modified form.

Another revival is the feather boa, which graced so many occasions when our mothers were young. But the old boa is glorified almost beyond description. Imagine a shell-pink gown of angel-skin, of that simplicity of line achieved only by perfect cut, with a feather ruff of a deeper pink thrown carelessly across the shoulders. Feathers, too, puff round the armholes on some gowns. On others, width of shoulder is achieved by large puffs, by rows of little frills, or even by cascading loops of ribbon. Capes and capelets in self or contrasting material still add interest to the shoulder line. If you wish to be definitely 1933, have one shoulder-strap of flowers. Fresh flowers are glorious—but no, their little evening is soon done; and artificial flowers, if carefully chosen, are quite charming. Choose flowers to contrast, rather than to tone. Don't forget the neckline, higher in front and definitely low at the back. If you are inclined to shoulder-blades, however, don't attempt to be ultra-smart as regards the back.

From neck to hem, the front of a gown should be quite plain. In some of the newest models the fitted waist-line is accentuated by a belt from the sides fastening in a large bow at the back. Unusual contrasts such as green and mauve, or cerise and violet, are found in these sashes. I saw an elaborate gown with this type of tie finish, shading from mauve to purple. The cut was extremely intricate, and the line was classic. A shaded feather collar, resembling an Elizabethan ruff, added the final touch.

The short coat has evidently come to stay, but in such variety that in some cases the relationship is extremely remote. The hip-length wrap in fur or in contrasting material is smart. Shorter coats, in velvet or silk, ring the changes page 54 page 55 in sleeves from the dolman to the puff, and from the wrist to the upper arm. With a black velvet frock of princess cut and an angled neckline I saw a white fur coatee so short that it barely covered the shoulder blades. White and black are used in unusual combinations in velvet and fur wraps of all sizes. A white hip-length coat of rich velvet or imitation ermine looks well with a long roll collar of black or white fur. Velvet seems to have usurped the place of brocade and lame in evening wraps.

Accessories are interesting. Gloves have suddenly become an important detail. A few of us have already tried mittens—dainty, lacy affairs in shades to match our frocks—and now, if we are investing in a velvet gown, we must of course choose velvet gloves to accompany it.

Shoes usually match the gown, and are long and slim. The short, rounded toe that made fours look like threes has retired into the background, for the present at least.

* * *