“Women of the World War II Home Front” is a fashion-focused program on the role of women in both the US and the UK during the war and how fashions reflected both their wartime roles and the impact of the war itself. For example, some materials (such as silk and nylon) were not available for clothing since they were needed for wartime exigencies such as parachutes, etc., and styles reflected the somberness of the times (for example, wedding dresses became much simpler, discarding ornate, frilly designs). Women’s role in wartime industries was also reflected in clothing design.
The fashion component will consist of a slide presentation with live commentary by Britsburgh’s Deborah Popp Gilbert, Vice President of the Elizabeth Township Historical Society (ETHS). Debbie draws on the Society’s vintage clothing collection, started by ETHS Charter Member Norma Werner in 1976, to inform her presentation and will bring several of these antique outfits on mannequins for display during the program. Displays of period clothing and discussion will focus on the impact of slogans geared toward women like the famous “We can do it!” as well as “Make do and mend” and “Victory is in the kitchen.” Debbie will also discuss the influence of designers like Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli on the pieces in the ETHS collection.
Also included is a 1940s-themed Afternoon Tea, including desserts such as the World War II-era “War Cake,” the recipe of which reflects wartime shortages in its elimination of butter and the use of alternate sweeteners to white sugar. Optional: Wear your 1940s-style hat or outfit if you wish!
Join us at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum as we honor both the men and women who served on the front lines and home front – and learn how even lipstick helped win World War II!
For more information, contact Kim Szczypinski of Britsburgh’s History Society at firstname.lastname@example.org
2:00-3:00PM Fashion Presentation
3:00-4:00PM Wartime 1940s-Style Afternoon Tea
Advanced registration required at www.brittsburgh.com
Tickets: Brittsburgh Members $15; Non-members $20