The 1940’s tower over every other decade of the 20th century as the most full of sorrow, patriotism and ultimately – hope. It was a time of war and sacrifice, were people joined together to get through the hardest of circumstances. Dame Vera Lynn has always been an idol of mine, widely known as “the Forces’ Sweetheart”, she entertained the troupes and kept spirits high during the darkest of days. I was so excited to shoot my 40’s look and pay homage to not only Dame Vera but to all of the service men and women who fought in the war.
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.”
Before I go on with the post I just wanted to say a big thank you, this series has been (by far) my favourite ever to create and the support you’ve shown be on here and over on my Instagram really does mean the world. The hours upon hours of location and styling research is all worth it. A particular shout-out to my Photographer Zoe, she’s really pushed the boat out on this one and delivered some of my favourite pictures to date. A series like this takes a whole lot of time and planning and to know I have someone whose just as excited to create the content as much as I am is a dream come true. Zoe, I couldn’t do it without you!
Now, let’s get to it. For my 1940’s post I wanted to go all out with the styling, again preferring not to go down the costume shop route I found this dress on ASOS and thought it fit the era perfectly. I had researched 40’s hair styles in depth but I kept on returning to the iconic victory rolls and knew it was the way I wanted to go pretty early on, however… no way would I be able to create the look myself! The amazing team at Duck & Dry once again offered to style my hair for the shoot and thanks to the wonderful Alan Kitrell my victory roll dream came to life. I can’t describe how happy I was with the final result, it really did finish off the look perfectly. As for location, there was one place in particular I had in mind – Cahoots! Cahoots is a cocktail bar in soho and one I’ve been to a couple of times in the past. It’s a 1940’s blitz themed bar based underground in Kingly Court, The decor is heavenly, a war-time tube station with secret little cubbies and authentic details. I emailed on a whim thinking they’d never let me shoot there but I was welcomed by the team with open arms. They’d seen my previous Decades posts and thought it was a great idea so off Zoe and I went, once again back in time to visit war-time Britain.
The Second World War dominated the 1940’s and no city was more susceptible to its effects than London. Women played a vital role in Britain during this time. They operated anti-aircraft guns, worked as ambulance drivers and many joined the services as wrens (navy) or waafs (air force). Others worked in factories or on farms as part of the women’s land army. There were dustwomen, nurses, women’s auxiliary fire service and ARP wardens. During this time women gained a new sense of power. There were women who could talk down aircrews, break codes, track battleships, drive 10-tonne trucks and save lives. No concession was made, however, for the fact that women had to go on running the home. After a 10-hour day in a factory making aircraft wings, a woman would still have to shop, clean, feed her family on rations and “make do and mend”. Every one had a job to do and all were expected to pitch in in order to win –
“Britain expects that you too, this day, will do your duty.”
Photography – Zoe Griffin
“We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.
Keep smiling through, just like you always do
Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away.So will you please say Hello, to the folks that I know
Tell them I won’t be long.
They’ll be happy to know, that as you saw me go
I was singing this song –We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.”
Lest we forget. I hope you enjoyed this little adventure to the past. The 1940’s was a decade that changed the world forever and one I hope I did it justice. I’d love to hear your thoughts, are you a fan of the vintage hair styles, would you give it a go? Let me know what Decade you’d like to see me do next and which has been your favourite so far. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by, I appreciate your support more than you know. Remember you can keep up to date with my daily goings on over on Instagram and be sure to check out my travels over on my Youtube channel. For now it’s time to head back to present day but I’ll be back taking another journey to the past very soon!