The Seamstress of Bloomsbury
20s fashion – the revival of a time full of joie de vivre and fashion highlights
It was a decade of exuberance, joie de vivre and the liberation of women: the 1920s. The lifestyle of the twenties was made possible by innovations in fashion, the economic boom and, above all, the courageous ladies. Without the presence of the “new woman”, the fashion world would have developed quite differently to this day. The 20s fashion is not only a part of history, but still a lived vintage trend. We owe the Golden Twenties the cocktail dress, modern lingerie, make-up and an extravagant dress style that emancipated women put together themselves.
Although the casual and boyish 20s fashion came to an end in 1929 with the world economic crisis and the figure-hugging women’s costumes returned in the 30s, the Flapper dress belongs in every modern wardrobe of a real vintage girl. Film classics like the “Great Gatsby”, fast-paced jazz music, the Charleston and lively motto parties keep the 1920s style alive.
Between euphoria and glamour
The 20’s were a special time for women. There were great changes in fashion and lifestyle in these few years, which shaped the image of femininity and the position of women in society. The 20s were above all a time of euphoria, parties and rebellion. Very distinctive fashion trends threw the wardrobe of women and men quite mixed up. The corset was said goodbye and a loose dress style was welcomed. The then Flapper Girl owed her new way of life primarily to the global economic situation and the general improvement in lifestyle after the First World War. The young women celebrated their new joie de vivre in the truest sense of the word.
The “new woman” in her emphatically non-womanly costume was cheeky and opposed the good behaviour demanded so far. What might seem normal to us today was unbelievable, outrageous, but also fascinating at that time. The ladies wanted more independence and were no longer interested in the good image of a girl. The costume and the Charleston dress differed fundamentally from the previously emphasized female and waisted fashion. Josephine Baker showed the Charleston and the parties were more and more conquered by the smoking and drinking ladies. Even bicycles, cars and former male jobs were no longer taboo for women. The revolutionary fashion style of Coco Chanel also became famous and successful in the 1920s.
No wonder that the 20s ladies costume and the short hairstyles with the cloche are still among the most popular costumes at every 20s fashion event. The sequins, the fringes and the short skirts of the Flapper dresses have lost nothing of their elegance until today. In vintage fashion, the twenties are without question a specialty. The passionate and rebellious feelings of women are still reflected in classically sophisticated yet extremely unusual fashion.
20s fashion: the cocktail dress as a new discovery
She was simply called “Flapper” and she was the new woman of the 20s fashion. She didn’t want to wear the corset anymore. Instead she preferred loose and hanging dresses, which should not emphasize the female silhouette, at least the waist. In the 20s fashion, the waistline generally sat at hip height, thus enabling a straight line on the upper body and flared, knee-length skirts. The “Flapper” was considered a cheeky boy type, who likes to provoke. Pearl jewellery or jewellery in black as well as lips with red make-up nevertheless gave her back enough feminine charisma. Shocking were the short hairstyles as well as the tightly cut dresses. The bob head in black was a trademark of the ladies and made it to the ultimate cult hairstyle.
Today cocktail dresses and ladies costumes show a lot and a little leg. In the 1920s, the knee-length dress in black with its sequins and other accessories was a fashionable liberation from the previous style of women in fashion. It was the perfect costume or cocktail dress for more freedom of movement, which was also used by the women. The ladies of the 20’s could not have enough of this, because when dancing the Charleston the legs and arms are mixed up. With Bob or Cloche the look of the twenties is then perfect. The main thing is that the style differs from the convention and provokes. No wonder that Betty Boop in her costume also caused a sensation at that time.
The classics of 20s fashion
At every vintage party the 20s costume can be spotted immediately. The gentlemen wear knickerbockers and a slider cap and the ladies wear a flapper dress with fringes and sequins as well as a headdress. The costume can come in black or silver and is allowed to sparkle and shimmer. The 20s fashion wasn’t figure-hugging, but who says that it couldn’t be sexy anyway? Sequins lent the cocktail dress the right glamour and provided for a decadent note, fringes provided for pep – and not only with the Charleston – free shoulders and deep back cuttings showed sensual skin to the men.
The ladies’ style can also be a little dramatic. Glitter and noble accessories give the 20s ladies costume a sophisticated touch – just like the “Big Gatsby”. Pantyhose and pumps, for example in black, accentuate the legs, yet you can also dance the Charleston wonderfully in them. A close-fitting hat and pearl jewellery with the dress are sufficient accessories for the classic women’s costume. The 1920s style doesn’t have to become too ladylike, after all, the lady knows how to really celebrate.
Rebellious hairstyles for extravagant ladies
Women wore their hair unconditionally short in the Golden Twenties. But short does not mean boring at all. The hairstyles could be cut or styled differently. Pomade was at that time only something for gentlemen? Far from it. The Flapper Girls especially in the later 20’s used the typical male hairstyle aid and formed tight curls on the ears. Otherwise, the classic bob head with a lateral parting is the hairstyle par excellence. The absolute trend for a 20s look is black hair. At that time, black was dyed for necessity, today women can fall back on washable colours for a vintage party night.
Accessories for parties and everyday life
Selected accessories and jewellery should also be worn with the 1920s women’s costume. Classic and noble aids remain popular. Take plenty of sequins, pearls and a feather and create chains and head jewellery for an exuberant, yet noble glamorous look. The headband in black is just as cult as the long pearl necklace over the dress with fringes. Handbags were a must neither in the evening nor in everyday life. But the icing on the cake in the 20s style is the cigarette holder, which adds the finishing touch to every 20s dress.
The passionate hat wearer uses a narrow and elongated cloche that is pulled up to her ears. It may not be suitable for every face shape, but it is a stylish alternative for bobsleds with no hair styling.
And how do you create your 20s look that will attract the attention of all gentlemen?
Collectif Outfit of the Day: DOLORES TROPICAL BIRD JUMPSUIT