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

Our Women's Section — Timely Notes and Useful Hints

page 53

Our Women's Section
Timely Notes and Useful Hints

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.

* * *

A Colour Tonic.

Don't be dull. During the last few years of depression we've had hurled at us from fashion pages, home notes, and women's journals, the advice, “Be economical. Be smart. Study the ensemble. If your purse is shallow, plan your clothes carefully, choosing your colour scheme.” So we have our two-piece, three-piece and four-piece suits, each part so obviously related to every other part, with the skirt material echoed in the pocket flaps of the coat, or the coat lining draping the neckline of the frock—pieces snipped off her and there and slapped on there and here. I say again, don't let's be dull, and patchy.

Cheerfulness is so much a matter of environment, and—with a woman—clothes are certainly 50 per cent. of the surroundings. Psychologists have studied the effect of colour on mental outlook; the warm colours, from the yellow of diluted sunlight to a deep rich crimson, vary as much as the emotions; the cool shades equally well echo moods or form contrasts to them. Women are said to be creatures of moods (and by this is not meant moodiness). Therefore, we require more colour than one to express us. Also, in most cases, our colour expressions may show violent contrasts. We do not meet many who go through life faintly expressing pale saxe or spend the years bringing their friends and relatives to the shrieking point by blatantly asserting a tangerine personality. No; we are, luckily for ourselves, more complex; our natures are woven from contrasting strands.

Here and now, we will decide not to spend a depressing winter in green, while Mabel languishes in blue, perhaps with a touch of red on hat or scarf, and Sybil flaunts her tawnies on a brown base. If we feel happy in May and down-cast in September, a lot of the blame can be cast at the present-day clothes regime. Let's be original and express ourselves properly, deciding that we are not one-colour women for months on end.

Knitwear is smart, bright and cosy. The dark girl can have an orange cardigan, a deep blue pullover, a scarlet jumper, and a black skirt as a base for the three, for less than the price of one ready-made frock or ensemble. In this way we can choose a wardrobe to suit our moods—or to correct them, which is quite as important.

I'm beginning to resent the word “ensemble,” which has ruled the world of fashion too long. Accessories, of course, must match, but our outfits need not be ensembles; when we ring the changes, let it be from one colour to another, not merely the addition of a coat to match, or the taking off of a cape, also to match. There are so many reasonably priced, artistically woven and beautifully coloured materials from which to concoct little extras in the way of tunics, jackets, peasant blouses—fine wools for street and office wear, silks for coy afternoons by your own or your friends' fireside. Recently I saw a charming tunic in maize yellow with a panel seaming which was reflected on the black skirt where it terminated in inverted pleats. The neckline had extensions which crossed and buttoned to the tunic in a smart bow effect. Now, everybody, set to work to investigate the colour possibilities.

* * *

Hand Weaving.

Weaving is one of the oldest crafts, and has been practised since the very earliest times. The power loom soon drove the weavers first to despair and then into the factories, and hand-weaving became practically a lost art in industrial countries. Now, strange to say, the old art has been revived in the most modern cities as a useful pastime in the home. It has, quite page 56 naturally, come to keep pace with the knitting craze. Some of our girl technical students have been able to set up their own looms—proving, possibly, how easy it is to make a machine of this type suitable for the more simple forms of weaving. Among the fabrics which can be made from wool, silk, or cotton, are dress and coat materials, scarves, cushion-covers, table-covers—in many colours and greatly-varied patterns. Soon the question “did you make your own dress” may mean “did you weave it, as well?” Certainly the revival of this interesting handicraft will help to produce new ideas in patterns, besides proving economical to those who develop the hobby.

* * *

Safeguard The Children's Health.
The Danger of Colds.

Children must be safeguarded against colds, especially during the winter and early spring. The common cold is anything but a trifling ailment and must not be neglected. An immense amount of ill-health in later life can be traced directly to neglected colds in childhood. The delicate lining membrane of the nose becomes inflamed and infected by germs, and once this condition occurs, other colds and complications are likely to follow. Ear troubles frequently result owing to the spread of infection from the nose passages to the middle ear. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids are also encouraged.

If a child has a heavy cold and the weather is changeable, he is better in bed in a warm airy room and out of draughts, and if in reasonably good health he should soon recover. The nose must be kept clear as possible. Handkerchiefs should not be used, but pieces of soft rag which can be burnt, as the discharges are highly infectious. A child with a cold should not be encouraged to blow his nose too hard, as by so doing, discharge may be forced into cavities at the side of the nose. An aperient must be given—castor oil or some other usual medicine. Give light nourishing diet and plenty of drinks—water, barley-water, fruit drinks, milk, etc.

If there is a tickling or irritating cough, black-currant tea (made with jam or jelly and boiling water) is a homely and old-fashioned remedy, also glycerine, lemon juice and honey are very effective. For a slightly sore throat, gargling with a mild antiseptic, such as salt and water, has a soothing effect for the child who is old enough to gargle and can be trusted not to swallow the gargle.

A chest cold or cough, if there is a temperature, really calls for medical advice, as there is a risk of bronchitis. An inhalation of Friar's Balsam (one teaspoonful to a pint of boiling water) gives relief. To give the inhalation, place a paper bag with a small hole cut in a corner, over the receptacle that holds the inhalant. The steam then goes directly up the nose and into the lungs, thus preventing the pores of the skin being opened to admit a chill.

For a severe sore throat, it is advisable to isolate the child, as it is often an early sign of one of the infectious diseases. If there are whitish spots or patches on the throat, the doctor should be sent for immediately.

Human Parcels By Rail.

Alastair Campbell (aged 7) and his brother William (aged 3), whose photographs appear below, became, in a manner, passenger parcels, consigned to their grandmother at Waihi. To each of the children was attached a label bearing his name and the address of the grandparent.

The original link of the boys with Waihi was their father, who went from that town some years ago to Rarotonga, where he married a native. The death of both parents caused a call to go from New Zealand to the orphans, and so began a voyage of wonderment on the “Makura” to Wellington. Here they were met by a friend, who handed them to the guard on the Main Trunk Express. Of course the guard transferred them to the kindly care of the attendant on the ladies' carriage, where the young wayfarers found warmth and other comfort. Away they went on their first train ride, in full confidence that the Railway Department would deliver them safely to their grandmother.

(Rly. Publicity photo.) Alastair and William Campbell.

(Rly. Publicity photo.)
Alastair and William Campbell.

page 57 page 58
Famous British Express Train In America. (Photos, courtesy S. Fahey, N.Z.R., Feathersto) Great Britain's contribution to the Transport Section of the Century of Progress World's Fair now open in Chicago, U.S.A. “The Royal Scot,” crack train of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway, on its triumphal tour through the Eastern States of America.

Famous British Express Train In America.
(Photos, courtesy S. Fahey, N.Z.R., Feathersto)
Great Britain's contribution to the Transport Section of the Century of Progress World's Fair now open in Chicago, U.S.A. “The Royal Scot,” crack train of the London, Midland & Scottish Railway, on its triumphal tour through the Eastern States of America.