1920s Fashion


1920s fashionA 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.”  1920s fashionThis French publication provided exquisite fashion plates of 1920 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.

 
flapper dress flapper dress
1920s Fashion
Gazette du Bon Ton, 1924 
 
 

The life of the European southern resorts centers, especially in the Casinos and sporting clubs, reflected the opulence of society fashion. Casino frocks were more necessary than beach clothes, and evening gowns more important than either. The trained gown made a dignified and even important gesture to the fashion scene. 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. As seen to the left,

 
 
1920s dress 1920s dress
1920s Fashion
Gazette du Bon Ton, 1923
1920s Dress
[Library of Congress]
 

When Paris dined out it appeared in such beauty as these two designer dresses. Rose, yellow and all the shades of fuchsia and cyclamen were featured in the early 1920s, as well as a peculiarly brilliant red, which was at its prettiest in velvet. Another red of the shade known as Etruscan, and a dull gray-ochre, which was lovely either in beaded velvet or in mousseline, were seen.

 
1920s Fashion flapper dress
1920s Fashion
Gazette du Bon Ton, 1922 
1920s Dress
[Library of Congress]
 

Many Parisian 1920s dresses for evening were straight and slender. A slimming effect, no matter the waistline of the wearer, was achieved through the drapery and the fall of each fold, especially with the implementation of a lace overdress.

 
1920s Fashion 1920s Fashion
1920s Fashion
Gazette du Bon Ton, 1922 
1920s Evening Coat
[Library of Congress]
 

For 1920s daytime events, the lustrous sleekness of fur blended with many fabrics. Slim graceful wraps were featured as seen above. There was something emphatically appealing in the decorative sleeve of these two designs. For formal afternoon wear, a matching coat and dress were in fashion and was seen as more appropriate with an air of elegance than the three-piece suit. To the left is shown a wrap that only the cut saves it from being an evening wrap. The richness of the fabric is enhanced by the trimming of monkey fur.  Against a full-length background, the fur is arranged in a deep circular flounce and voluminous collar and cuffs. A hat of black hatter’s plush with a long uncurled ostrich plume could be worn.

 
flapper dress flapper dress
1920s Fashion
Gazette du Bon Ton, 1922 
1920s Evening Dress
[Library of Congress]
 

1920s evening dresses became more daring and flamboyant. The designer gown to the left was featured in Gazette du Bon Ton in 1922 as “Princesse Bara” design, one of the “Afrique” dance dresses inspired by “women of color of Central Africa.

 
1920s Fashion 1920s Fashion
1920s Fashion
Gazette du Bon Ton, 1921 
1920s Hat
[Library of Congress]
 

Two town or country hats of larger proportions are featured with whispering net wrappings forming a semi-veil appearance. Worn as a restaurant or garden party hats, the brims are narrow at the back and in front.

 
1920s Fashion 1920s Fashion
1920s Fashion
Gazette du Bon Ton, 1922 
1920s Cape
[Library of Congress]
 
 
1920s Fashion 1920s Fashion
1920s Fashion
Gazette du Bon Ton, 1924 
1920s Coat
[Library of Congress]
 
 
flapper dress 1920s Fashion
1920s Fashion
Gazette du Bon Ton, 1923 
1920s Dress
[Library of Congress]
 
 
1920s Fashion 1920s dress
1920s Fashion
Gazette du Bon Ton, 1920 
1920s Dress
[Library of Congress]
 
 
1920s Fashion 1920s Fashion
1920s Fashion
Gazette du Bon Ton, 1924 
1920s Dress
[Library of Congress]
CREDITS: Fashion Prints: Gazette du Bon Ton; Photographs: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, George Grantham Bain Collection.

 

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Attending a Flapper party or want to arrange a Boardwalk Empire bash? Learn how to dress for motoring, afternoon tea, formal dinner, wedding and, of course, a dance party. Shapely curves were concealed and flat-chested was in! Explore the sophistication of 1920s dresses as you plan your fancy dress or masquerade costume. What could be more fun than 1920s style fashions and millinery creations, all featured in wonderful color pictures.