Monday, 3 January 2011
The Land Girls.
I was lucky enough to catch this film on TV during the Christmas holidays. I was planning on renting it anyway as part of my research but somehow film4 read my mind, that clever little thing. Anyway before I go on about the story and why I watched it and everything, I just have to say I genuinely loved this film because to be quite honest I did not aspect it to be as good as it was. From watching this film it looks like there was a fair amount of scandal going on in the country side! The basic outline of the story is that three young women from very different walks of life join the women's land army during World War II and are sent to work together on a farm in Dorset and the experience circumstances that change their lives forever.
Quiet Stella (Catherine McCormack), young hairdresser Prue (Anna Friel) and Cambridge graduate Ag (Rachel Weisz) arrive on a remote farm in the glorious Dorset countryside. These three women are the 'Land Girls' all are originally from the city and have volunteered to take the place of young men who worked agriculturally on the land have gone to fight in the war. I think these women were an unlikely trio: Prue is outgoing and blunt; Ag is quiet and well reserved as well as being innocent about life at the start; while being quite and almost in a world of her own Stella is in love with Philip her fiance a dashing naval officer, who is charmingly played by Paul Bettany, who in my opinion almost all of his characters are always the quintessential English gentlemen. Though the girls obviously have strong differences they soon become close friends but in the situation they were in I think you would be friends with anyone as long as you weren't alone. The film follows their relationships with each other and the men in their lives in the face of the war. And believe me the situation with the men in all there lives gets pretty complicated. I won't tell you the whole story of the film because then there would be no reason for you to watch it! and if you feel your a little bit like me I feel you should love it! But these three individual women don't just become friends due to there situation there friendships last a life time.
Now I'm going to talk about the uniforms and clothes. Yes there were ration books, no they couldn't just pop to Primark like so many of us do now. They had to make do with what they had and if that wasn't good enough they altered it or mended the problem. I wish I had this mantra to my life more, then maybe I would be able to wear more of my existing wardrobe. When these women dressed up or had dances they really did make the best of themselves and they looked beautiful. Postbox red matte lipstick perfectly applied, their hair hidden under scarves during the day while working, ready for the rags to be removed for the evening and to have beautifully curled hair.
In fact I have to admit I do tend to walk around my house with my hair just like this, not just because its retro or anything but because its practical. It keeps my hair from falling forward and getting in the way and if I just can't face spending an hour washing and driving it the scarf hides my greasy roots from sight. You all have to agree with me the women of the land army new what they were doing with what they wore and how as well on how to fake a great stocking (gravy browning and eyeliner pencil and if you didn't have eyeliner then coal worked quite well too). For a number of my designs and drawing I have taken inspiration from their official uniforms which you can see from a snapshot out of the film above. The woman's land army also had armbands with which group they were a member of embroidered and sewn into it. ( well as far as I am aware this is what they were for) I am lucky enough that my grandmother still owns her armband and has been kind enough to lend it to me for a day or so next week so you will definitely be seeing it up on my blog.
In the next number of week I am also planning to try and do a few outfit posts inspired by the women of the second world war. From uniforms to there outfits for functions, dances and working the land. Please tell me if I've missed anything else out about the clothing from the film, or if you want to ask me any questions about the land army and I can try and answer them.