In England we were wearing big overcoats with hoods, and flat-heeled shoes: the feeling behind them being that we could walk, if there was no transport, and wrap up in our coat somewhere if we couldn’t get home. We wanted to be ready for anything asked of us. Paris was in a totally different situation. Occupation by the Germans, its people wanted to cock a snook at them, distancing themselves by being flagrantly unpractical and putting on the most outrageous fashion show they could. So with no transport but bicycles and a limited Metro service, they were wearing shoes with platform soles inches high, and towering hats.
– Audrey Withers (1905-2001), British Vogue Editor from 1940 to 1960.
Ms. Withers is speaking about Paris fashions during World War II. (From Fashion on the Ration: Style in the Second World War by Julie Summers. This book accompanies an exhibit of the same name at the Imperial War Museum in London.)