QUESTION: Popularity in FRANCE of 1930s-1940s vintage styles

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by Cousin Hepcat, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Cousin Hepcat

    Cousin Hepcat Practically Family

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    Can anyone comment on the current [or "recent"] popularity in FRANCE of 1930s-1940s vintage styles? (i.e. the popularity of Movies, Music, & Clothes from those decades)

    Does anyone know of any French-speaking equivalent of the Fedora Lounge? (tried googling "France 1930s[1940s] forum", no dice.)

    Since everything's relative... from what I've seen just here on the Lounge, there seems to be a relatively decent "fan base" for styles of the 1930s-40s in the USA, UK, Germany, and others... Regularly-occurring open-to-the-public swing dancing events, live swing band music concerts, occasional swing-era-influenced music videos by pop stars like Christina Aguilera, regular Fedora Lounge contributors, etc...

    Anyone know how France currently compares to the above countries in terms of general current 1930s-40s-style enthusiasm & activity?

    [EDIT] Browsing the interwebs a bit, it seems those years were particluarly bleak in France... Which leaves me wondering, if the reason I haven't seen the same volume of 1930s-40s-era-styled output from France is simply because I'm living in a non-French-speaking society, or because of a lack of enthusiasm within France for anything reminiscent of that era.... One individual described it as, "France exhibited a morose and clearly identifiable mood in these years [from the great depression to WWII], a "nightmare of fear," and a sense of vulnerability."...

    So, are 1930s-40s styles, then, perhaps particularly UNpopular in France?...

    Thanks,

    - CH
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012
  2. It seems we have a few members in France, but though I could be mistaken, I get the vibe that they're mainly expat Americans or Brits who live there.
     
  3. Flat Foot Floey

    Flat Foot Floey My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I don't know. There is Mr French Can Can who has a great workwear blog. He also plays in a small swing/jazz band. Great guy.
    http://fcancan.blogspot.de/


    I also searched for other french sites but only found some resistance reenactment. I don't like military reenactment much ...but the resistance style is basically cilivilan attire...

    [​IMG]
    here



    PS: If you are interested in Swing dancing...sometimes they also mix with the vintage crowd
    www.spiritoflindy.asso.fr/
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  4. Flat Foot Floey

    Flat Foot Floey My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    It would be interesting if some collectors have original Zazou Outfits...compared to the american Zoot Suits and the german Swingjugend. It's a similar important part of Jazz history and youth culture imo.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zazou
     
  5. Cousin Hepcat

    Cousin Hepcat Practically Family

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    Thanks, Flat Foot Floey; that led me to some fascinating (if morosely depressing) books on WWII-era France, and interaction with American swing & jazz culture-- More to add to the ever-growing Amazon wish list...
     
  6. Louise Anne

    Louise Anne Suspended

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    I agree , it's a very difficult subject in Europe 1930 to 1950 , if I meet any one from Europe I would not talk about that period to them at all unless they brought it up first.
     
  7. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

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    I know for sure the Parision fashion designers continued showing excellent new styles during the occupation. I've seen newsreels produced in 1943 in Paris that showed them. God knows Coco Chanel thrived during that period (becoming the mistress of a German officer).
     
  8. Cousin Hepcat

    Cousin Hepcat Practically Family

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    Unfortunately, I've since read that many of that artistic output, including fashion shows and seemingly-appealing photos of well-dressed Parisians walking about the streets during WWII, were actually part of the a propaganda machine to make it APPEAR that "everything was OK" and it was "business as usual" in Paris to the rest of the world...

    Sorry I brought up the topic; Apologies all around, I really "stepped in it"; will suggest to mods that this thread be deleted...
     
  9. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

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    I don't think there's anything wrong with bringing it up. You had no intention of offending anybody. It's very interesting. I'm not surprised about the German propaganda thing.
     
  10. rocketeer

    rocketeer Call Me a Cab

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    I have not been for ages but in Paris there are many stall in the flea markets selling old clothes from these era's, stores specialising in leather jackets, shoes etc. Somewhere is an Aero outlet, or was, but that was a high end gentleman's outfitters.
    Near Bastille there is a shop specialising in 'vintage' mens clothing, I was after an old camel hair belt tied overcoat and found this shop with about 50 of them. Unfortunately the shop owner was chain smoking cigars and everything stank of tobacco(Boulevard Beaumarchais for those interested)
    Cant remember the stores name but it was full to the brim of second hand clothing ranging from very good to very bad, lots of old leathers, textiles and coats from lots of era's all presided over by an old French guy that spoke no English.
    French, 'vintage' fashion and dance/music enthusiasts though have a different outlook to us lot. I spoke to a few people visiting the Retromobile car show, they said people to follow French style rather than the more popular Hollywood glamour look. I think the European look is much more suited to Paris, cafe, accordion, Piaf, Chevalier. Hmmmmm I'm coming over all Frenchified:D
    J
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2012
  11. Chasseur

    Chasseur Call Me a Cab

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    I used to live in France (and will again Insh'Allah) and I go back every year. I've hit the vintage stores in Paris for the past couple of years. Generally for various reasons (Depression, War, Occupation, post-War reconstruction and others) there seems not to be much pre-WWII men's vintage. More women's vintage, but again less pre-war.

    A funny thing is that most of the men's vintage I found in the shops was American in origin (I suspect people must buy up lots of US vintage and ship it back), and also the few vintage scene people I met had a more US-rockabilly style than the sort of Brassai photo/Rene Clair film you might assume. For example Mamie Blue and her partner who run two vintage shops in Paris and make the Retrosport casquettes we like are very US-rockabilly in the styles they were at the shop or out dancing (at least the limited times I've seen them...). Again this could all reflect my limited experience with the vintage scene there.
     
  12. rocketeer

    rocketeer Call Me a Cab

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    Interesting, almost the opposite of my experiences but then my visit was about 6 years ago so maybe things have moved away from European style.
    I have to admit I did not meet anyone with the same outlook as most people here into old stuff, I was there for the car show and a lot of these vehicles are what we know as real vintage and Classic cars, ie Deusenburg, Bugatti, Isotta Fraschini, Voisin etc so not that many general family cars other than a history of the 2CV and some special bodied DS's.
     
  13. Chasseur

    Chasseur Call Me a Cab

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    It also could be my VERY limited exposure to a couple of shops and people in Paris so I could be completely wrong or have had too small a sample size. Did you see any nice Tractions at the show? I love those Traction Avants!
     
  14. Ben Stephens

    Ben Stephens One of the Regulars

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    My impression is that there is a lot of vintage clothing in France. Often, in various antique shops over there, I have found shirts, which seem to be in abundance. Also, looking at the amount of French clothing at places like Portobello, it seems that the dealers do regular trips to France. I would imagine that places like Paris have probably been exhausted, but in the provinces I believe it may be different.
    I have also always had the impression that in general the French are much more forward looking and not as sentimental as we (UK) are as a nation.

    Having traveled most of Europe to vintage events, I have never come across anyone from France, however, there are a lot of military re-enactors, and my friend Gordon tells me there was a vintage scene in the 80s and 90s but seem to fizzle out.

    Kindest Regards

    Ben
     
  15. herringbonekid

    herringbonekid I'll Lock Up

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    i spoke to the owner of 'Casablanca' the vintage shop in Paris when i was there in January and she basically said that amazing suits were plentiful when she began in the early-mid 90s but that they're very hard to find now. but that is basically the story in London vintage shops too. if you look on French ebay you'll find very little vintage clothing for sale compared to the UK ebay and i think that is a good representation of how much interest there is in a vintage 'scene' compared to the UK.
     
  16. Ben Stephens

    Ben Stephens One of the Regulars

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    It is still the place to find work wear and shirts. I always end up with shirts when ever I go, I think Baron will testify to that, as normally he ends up with them, as often they are too short in the arm for me.

    However, this is not from Paris, these tend to be from small Brocante's in the provinces, which, when i go in will often have a pile of shirts, maybe a few orphaned jackets, but, not much else. The dealers here seem to know that, as they are buying the stuff by the bucket load, this can be seen at Portobello on a Friday, where the stalls have a lot of French clothing. It is very cheap in France when you do find it (Again, not Paris), as very few people are really interested in it.

    Kindest regards

    Ben
     
  17. Ben Stephens

    Ben Stephens One of the Regulars

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    Also, it is the same as it is here. If I go into London, I will rarely come back with anything. Where as, if I go to Bath or Holt for instance, I will nearly always have bought something. The demand far out strips the supply now in the big cities I find.

    Ben
     
  18. Chasseur

    Chasseur Call Me a Cab

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    I should probably clarify that when I look for vintage I am normally looking for suits, sportcoats, hats and sometimes trousers in a larger size. I've not really looked for workwear type items, so that also colors my expereince with the Parisian shops.

    Thanks to Ben's comments I think I'll look for some vintage stores in the provinces this next trip.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  19. Ben Stephens

    Ben Stephens One of the Regulars

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  20. Chasseur

    Chasseur Call Me a Cab

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    Ben,
    Thank you for the recommendations, I'll be in France most of the fall this year so I am looking forward to doing some looking!
     

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