Sunday, April 19, 2009
Post-War Fashion Central to Awakening Love Setting
When I was a young designer of sixteen or seventeen, Dior had changed the fashion scene with hi NEW LOOK. Britain was still recovering from the war effort and the new fashion with its long and sweeping skirts caused a bit of angst because of the amount of fabric used. Remember we were used to make do and mend and clothing coupons. But it seemed to me, even at my young age, that women were weary of drab clothes and relished the idea of femininity — nipped in waist, shapely breasts, soft shoulders and dreamy skirts floating mid-calf or lower. I did some fashion sketches for a portfolio and I still have them. I am putting some of them here.
This is the world of June Armstrong, the main character in Awakening Love. June is a socially and sexually naive teenager who is determined to rise above her working class roots and, through sheer hard work and determination succeed as a top designer. Her single-minded ambition becomes the chief rival to being the wife of the man who awakened her to love — war hero, Major Arthur Rogers. (Because of their age difference the affair is kept secret but he gives her a locket containing a diamond for a ring as proof of his intentions) Assisting June towards achieving her goal is her boss, the ruthless entrepreneur Robert Watson — ruggedly handsome and renown for his sexual prowess. She soon discovers his adroitness at achieving his own ends by whatever means. From the beginning he makes it clear that he demands total dedication from June — she is to be the linchpin for a new branch of the Watson enterprises. When she insists on having the holiday due to her to be with Arthur, Robert insists they are a perfect team and she does not need another man to satisfy any of her needs, including sex. He make his play to own her — body and soul…