Highlights from Ivan Sayers’ Fashion Show “From Rationing to Ravishing”

Submitted by Shannon King, Manager of Audience Engagement

What a treat we had here at the Cannery on Sunday, September 11th. Fashion Historian Ivan Sayers presented From Rationing to Ravishing, a show of wartime fashions. It was an incredibly entertaining and educational show where the sold-out crowd heard interesting stories about the unique outfits that Ivan curated to complement our Women on the Homefront  exhibit. Here are a few of my favorites:


This dress (above) illustrated the pragmatic but stylish fashion in the 1940s. It was made from two dresses that were modified to create something original. It has the added feature of being a maternity dress that could expand at the waist with a growing pregnancy. How practical!

My favorite pieces were the ones that showed women’s work clothes. Ivan showed a pair of Boeing overalls from the Richmond plant (shown below) and also a smock used in the canning industry. blog-2

The 1940s outfits were contrasted with more frivolous and playful post-war fashions of the 1950s. I loved the light and sunny feel of this party dress (below).


This was the first time I had the pleasure of seeing one of Ivan Sayers’ fashion shows, and now I know why he is so highly recommended and has a following of fashion aficionados. What a delight it was to learn from someone so knowledgeable and passionate about fashion!

Sayers’ upcoming shows are listed on his website. 


Posted by m.horita
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