“The best kind of love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds.” – Noah Calhoun, The Notebook
Sappy romance movies really aren’t my thing and is probably my least favorite movie genre right next to romantic comedies. When I first watched The Notebook, I rolled my eyes at how the cheesy and predictable love story unfolded. Yet over time, I have grown fond of it mostly because, well, it stars Ryan Gosling as the hopeless romantic Noah Calhoun – what’s not to love? Oh how I’d like to take a ride on Noah’s ark.
Rachel McAdams plays Allie Hamilton, who is Noah’s love interest. It was painful to watch her torture herself and Noah as their summer love crashed and burned, but watching her outfit change in each scene was certainly a delight. Although women’s fashion in the 1940s is often characterized as utilitarian and austere, reflecting the nation’s somber mood during the war, there was also a softer and glamorous side, as epitomized by Allie’s perfect curls, red lipstick, and feminine dresses. Hats, floral and geographic prints, emphasis on sleeve details, shirt dresses, and shoulder pads became very popular during this time.
You must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss.
I may not have a heart when it comes to romance movies, but I can empathize with the pain and uncertainty of wartime love. Imagine kissing your love for the last time, never knowing when or if they will return. You cling onto a photograph of him, waiting everyday at the mercy of a telegram or handwritten letter to know that he is still alive and well. The men and women in these photographs didn’t really know when they would see each other again because another day was not guaranteed. So on this Valentine’s Day – and any other day for that matter – enjoy the present with the apple of your eye and be thankful that you have someone who wants to be attached to you at the hip, and who is happy to call you their better half. If you are single, then bask in the love of your family and friends and believe that your soulmate is out there somewhere – or at least right at your fingertips on Tinder.
I experienced wartime love when I laid my eyes on this gorgeous pair of 1940s peep-toe pumps. In pristine condition, I can only imagine they sat in a shoebox in some stylish lady’s closet and forgotten, as she probably had more pressing matters to be concerned with. Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a lady in red, because you know how the saying goes: red dress at night, sailor’s delight. This thrifted 80s silk beauty almost fits the bill for a 40s style dress. None of the hats in my collection could ever rival the amazing head pieces in that era, but I tried my best by adding a veil to my favorite pillbox hat. I felt a bit like a widow, but the 1940s were somber times after all. Fishnet stockings were hardly a thing in that decade, but I felt this outfit deserved some pizzaz and sheer nylons just weren’t going to do it. I could be waiting a while for my sailor, so better stay warm and glam in my fur collar jacket.
Although I never want to be in the situation of such uncertainty, one thing I am certain of: when my sailor sees me this Valentine’s Day in my 1940s inspired getup, he’ll want to dip me and kiss me like it’s V-J Day in Times Square.
Happy Valentine’s Day loves!