Winters Past

20th Century Fashion from Deco to Disco

Retro Fashions On TV

Once, back in college, a friend was taking a class called The History of History. It was one of those mind blowing freshman epiphanies: how we think about the past is influenced by what’s happening in the present, and the present is always changing.  Therefore, history is not a set of facts, it’s fluid, a moving target. Whoa!

This is all great stuff for a vintage clothing fan to parse. Were the roaring twenties really all about self empowered, fun loving party girls or do we, the post Sex and the City generation, just want to see it that way? Lucky for me, there are so many TV shows that take place in the past, all with  amazing fashion designed by modern costumers. In fact, a TV show about, say, the 60’s will have more great clothes than were actually present during that decade.

Costume dramas. We’re all familiar (or, if you’re me, obsessed!) with Mad Men. Downton Abbey had it’s cultural moment a few years back. Want to take a look at a few other less famous modern shows set in the past that are worth checking out for the clothing?

First up, a modern fantasy of a flapper-era independent woman, with enough twenties tropes to almost make it a caricature of that decade. The clothing is just luscious, and totally worth watching.

Fashions from the PBS series Miss Fisher

the 20’s: Miss Fisher

Indian Summer is a really great melodrama about the waning days of the British rule in India. The costumes are integral to the exotic feel and the wild plot twists, with a dazzling mix of silk saris, prim cotton day dresses and slinky bias cut gowns. Some of the British characters are realistically out of date, hauling out their twenties frocks well into the thirties.

Fashions from Indian Summer

The 30’s: Indian Summer

These swoon worthy Swing-era frocks steal the scenes in this WWII home front drama. And really,who doesn’t love a good peplum waist?

Fashions from Bomb Girls

The 40’s:  Bomb Girls

I watch Masters of Sex for the costumes, don’t you?

Fashions from Masters of Sex

The 50’s and 60’s:  Masters of Sex

Here’s a bright, cheerful-and very contemporary-look at early sixties fashion and the women who wore them. The sixties that I recall involved a whole lot more hairspray and repression, but its still great fun.

Fashions from Astronauts Wives Club

The 60’s:  Astronauts Wives Club

Author: Winters Past

I am a vintage clothing shop owner living and working in rural north Florida. I believe in adding a little vinegar and molasses to my greens, having my coffee outside whenever possible, and mixing something vintage into every room and every outfit.

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