A comparison of 1920s fashion prints with period
photographs provide a realistic look at the 1920s
fashion and the style of 1920s dress for the rich and famous.
Many 1920s magazines provided colorful images of the latest 1920s dress for women. Some magazines, such as Gazette du Bon Ton, catered exclusively to the “rich and famous.” This French publication provided exquisite fashion plates of 1920s fashion created by modern artists such as Paul Iribe, George Lepape, Georges Barbier, Charles Martin and others. Marketed towards privileged Paris shoppers, prints of exclusive and trend-setting 1920 fashion appeared in limited editions. Many designs were romanticized leisure scenes of the well-to-do, illustrating the latest creations of Paris fashion houses such as Worth, Lanvin, Doucet, Poiret, Callot Soeurs, Paquin and Beers.
With a collection of color prints from the 1920s fashion magazine, Gazette du Bon Ton, and an assortment of period photographs from the Library of Congress, we can compare the idealistic sketches of the 1920s fashion designer and the actual visualization of his work on a paying customer. Some designs appear as magnificent recreations of the hand-colored 1920s fashion prints, while others emerged as an incongruous masquerade costume. Many were worn by women of wealth, who, although they could afford the couture ensemble, sadly their size and appearance did not do the design justice.