Thursday, 17 March 2011

land girl

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Almost a month ago I posted a quote from a Steinbeck novel I was reading: "The women and girls wore pants usually of corduroy and thick sweaters, and they covered their heads with bright-colored scarves to protect their hair from the dust that rises from the fields with the smallest wind."

Steinbeck was speaking of French-Canadian potato harvesters in Maine in the 60s, but, here in London, it also reminded me of the Women's Land Army. This was an organization during the two world wars that organized for young women to go an work on farms, as extra food provision was necessary, and many of the men had been conscripted. I first heard of them several years ago through the film The Land Girls, starring Catherine McCormack, Rachel Weisz and Anna Friel (from Pushing Daisies). It's not an amazing movie, but very interesting and well acted.

While many of the girls who worked the fields were already from the country, many others were city girls from London or the Northern cities. Despite the back-breaking work, I bet many of them had the times of their lives away in the country with a group of girls. Like the women Steinbeck mentions, they were dressed for hard labour in thick trousers and sweaters, with scarves to keep back their hair. I skipped the labour but took the inspiration for a walk up the canal.

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sweater: vintage, shirt: Pure by Alfred Sung, trousers: H&M, shoes: ebay, scarf: gift

Photos by Albert

Oh, and I'm quite loving my orange lipstick again. So glad it showed up in my passport bag!

45 comments:

Krystal said...

You look so cute, like you could be in a mag! And I like how the backgrounds fit your clothes, very cool :)

CAITLIN said...

what a fun outfit! i actaully think it would be so much fun to go live on a farm with a bunch of girls for a summer (and drink red wine and run around in the fields at night...). i'm feeling that "back-to-the-land" itch now that spring is finally starting to show her face around here :)

Jazzy E (hivennn) said...

Love all the beautiful canal photos. x hivennn

ana said...

Oh this is a very nice and inspiring post! Women have been so strong in every part of history! and looking gorgeous in their field works! you look lovely!

dimi said...

You look great and ready for work!! The outfit is super inspiring for me! And the feministic boost as well! Thank you sweety!!
+Your canal is awesome!

Tanvi said...

Love the head gear on you! It doesn't look that great on everyone.

Tanvi
from © tanvii.com

Closet Fashionista said...

I always love when you do posts like this! I love learning fun new stuff!
I looove your outfit and that ad is amazing (the graphic designer in my is in love, haha)
http://www.closet-fashionista.com

gee said...

i love this look.
you are making me want to go out and buy up a lot of beautiful scarves.
happy st patricks day!
xoox

Catita said...

great cute and you look superb!
xoxo
Catita

Raquel said...

You know something, I have those same trousers haha, though they look better on you :) now we can be trouser twins as we are red beret ones.
You look gorgeous, very feminine in such masculine items, I love it.

Molly said...

You look fantastic! Love the creativity of AND the history behind this look. Brava!

Emily, Resplendent Tranquility said...

I was waiting for you to channel this look! I like it a lot - it has such a real, down-to-earth essence. Reallyyy like those trousers, too.

Thanks for the quick lesson on the Women's Land Army and the interspersed old photos.

Penny said...

interesting story girl! and is this regent's canal?
you have to visit Manchester- there is an area called Castlefield that is really beautiful in this sense!
ps) i love your scarf- but how did you tie it?

Rebeccak said...

I love how you interpreted the wuote - that scarf really lights up the whole look! Between you and the turban tying videos racing around at the moment, I might need to get into this head-scarf business!

And yes - the proposal is a bit mad. It will become chapter 1-3 of my thesis, so it is about 15,000 words. I have a meeting at the end of the month with a panel of senior academics in the field and have to defend it! eek!

deppa said...

Que linda inspiración, me encantaron las fotos y el outfit :)

Nos vemos!

Kallie, Happy Honey and Lark said...

were you reading travels with charley?? i love your headscarf :)

sojourned in style said...

nothing beats a hearty girl's outfit inspiration. I love where you get inspiration from, its boundless. the head scarf, trousers and sweater just pull together so well together

Terri said...

the scarf is lovely. Wear it more...not just in the Land Army.

Annebeth said...

oooooh this post is so inspirational! I love fresh takes on retro fashion, away from the old petticoat and peeptoe combo, this feels so much more interesting! You look very cool, practical and androgynous and just COOL. As I'm sure the girls back then looked :)

Bex said...

Love the post, great inspiration from the Land Girls, truely fascinating!

http://betweenmargins.blogspot.com

veronika, tick tock vintage. said...

oh, neat! i've actually never heard of the land girls before, it seems similar to the rosie the riveter advertising campaign that we had in the US during WWII. definitely something i need to research...

zoë said...

you're the best, ms emily! truly fantastic inspiration here, and great ensemble!

jessica said...

Cool post, Id never heard of the Land Girls before! I am also loving your orange lipstick, Ive wanted one for awhile Im just trying to find the perfect one!

SMASH said...

Hands down, one of my favorite outfits from you! You looked so relax but incredibly chic ayayay lookin good lady. This post reminds me how I should borrow Travels with Charlie from Grant :)

xx

Gráinne said...

Love your quirky style!x

Steffy's Pro's and Con's said...

i love the turban, and the shoes are adorable!

<3 steffy
steffysprosandcons.blogspot.com

Stef / Diversions said...

Looking awesome :) Land Girls is just the kind of movie I watch with the other half out of the house. Easy on the eye but not so engaging that you can't do some mending or doodling at the same time :)

Happy weekend!

NRIGirl said...

Aha.. There you go, I learnt something new today!

Thank you!!

Carrie said...

I LOVE this outfit and that first photo is stunning! You look beautiful. What a fun little post - have a delightful week-end!

dr.antony said...

Hi
I came through NRI girls blog.
Your blog is as lovely as yourself.Beautiful pictures and excellent write up.

Arisa and Lerchan said...

i love the turban
it is so lovely lovely
x

ladydazy said...

This is so classic. I love this post and your pictures as usual...

Samantha Elisabeth said...

Ah this is the kind of fashion I love-- one that takes inspiration from literature and/or history (particularly when it comes from strong women!). I love the look on you, and it's nice to read that it wasn't simply "thrown on," but took some thought.

Monique said...

I love that your outfit was inspired by a Steinbeck novel. I enjoy stories about industrious women during war time. That's the sweater you boyfriend's mom gave you right? Looks like it. These photos are just lovely. Your orange hued lips were the first thing I noticed.

Lenne said...

Haha I really love the juxtaposition of the poster next to your outfit! :>

As cute as always ♥

Abi said...

I love the inspiration and the way you've adapted it. The scarf and jumper/shirt works so well together. Nice pairing with the brogues.
Nice piece of history learnt here.

Closet Fashionista said...

Yea...I loved the sleeved one but I wasn't sure how often I would wear it and $40 is a lot for me to spend on a dress...it sold anyway though XD (and I ended up with a profit of $15! haha)
And yea, my sister and I can share things but her style is VERY different from mine...she doesn't really dress all that great...as you can see by her choice of that weird Zac Posen one XD

Alison said...

I love your inspiration and you're take on it. You did so good, and you look great! This was such a fun post to look at, thanks.

Want to follow eschother?
Www.sensiblystyled.blogspot.com

Rebecca said...

I feel like this outfit totally matches the location. Great inspiration from the vintage photos.

A Certain Vintage said...

love how you linked your outfit inspiration to Steinbeck!
The little houseboat on the river is so cute too, great place to photograph this style i think :)
xox
p.s natural history museum photography post was fantastic!

are you dressing up or dressing down said...

gorgoeus setting and lovely hairband.

Helen, X
http://areyoudressingupordressingdown.blogspot.com

Amanda, The Upside of Wonder said...

Ah, I really love the headband, you look so cute! And the trousers are fabulous. I don't think I could ever pull off a look like this, but you look amazing! Have a great week girl :]
xx

Anthea said...

I liked reading about the inspiration of this outfit. The outfit itself looks very stylish but yet comfortable, so it's a win in my books!

Velvet said...

Interesting! Thanks for sharing the inspiration.

Orange lipstick looks great on you.

Carys said...

Wow, thanks for giving me this link, what an incredible photoshoot!! Like most people who wear vintage, I absolutely love the Women's Land Army style, and what inspiring strong women they were too!
Beautiful photos.
From Carys of La Ville Inconnue