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810 South Fourth Street
Waco, TX 76706
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A foundation that preserves and showcases four historic house museums and hosts multiple educational opportunities throughout the year.
 

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The Hollywood Glamour of the 1930s can be Seen in Today's Evening Wear

Historic Waco

September means fashion weeks in New York, London, Paris and Milan. This is the time of year when designers release their new looks for the upcoming season, in this case spring 2018. But very little in fashion design is truly innovative. Looks are borrowed from past decades. For example, look at the evening dresses worn at most formal affairs and you will notice that swooping backless dresses are very much in vogue. What might surprise you is that the backless look was all the rage in the 1930s.

This 1931 Chanel gown, which was worn by Gloria Swanson, would not be out of place at a formal event today. (photo from Musée du Costume et de la Dentelle).

This 1931 Chanel gown, which was worn by Gloria Swanson, would not be out of place at a formal event today. (photo from Musée du Costume et de la Dentelle).

After flapper look of the 1920s, which celebrated a straight, boyish figure, the clothing styles of the 30s once again were designed for curves. Although Paris designers, such as Chanel, still wielded great influence in U.S. design, the fabulous fashions of Hollywood and such stars as Jean Harlow, Ginger Rogers and Carole Lombard were even more instrumental in determining the styles of the decade. The backless gown became a signature of the era.

The start of World War II saw another change in women's fashion, including innovative designs from American fashion houses and rationing which reduced the amount of clothes purchased.