Tag Archives: 20s

How to recreate a 1920s look – part two: evening wear

Following on from my guide to Twenties day wear, here’s part two – how to dress for the evening.

I’ve written about my slight obsession with Otto Dix’s paintings before, but I have to return to his magnificent ‘Grossstadt’. The main scene, set in a Berlin club, shows a couple dancing along to a jazz band with several onlookers smoking and drinking. The woman about to step onto the dance floor, with her orange-yellow dress, slick Easton crop hair cut, pink feather fan in hand, to me perfectly embodies Twenties decadence and what Twenties evening dress is about: glamour, exoticism, magic, enchantment, excitement.

Against contemporary stereotypes, Twenties evening dresses weren’t short, certainly not above knee-length, and full-length gowns remained popular throughout the decade. Monochrome dresses in black and white, creme or  pastel tones were often worn with exquisite art deco shawls in geometrical or oriental prints.

Just as with daywear, the silhouette was boyish and dresses – always sleeveless – were straight up and down or cut to a drop-waist. Cape or cut out back details were very en vogue as were luxurious fabrics such as silk and fur.

Scalloped seams and heavy embellishments using embroidery and pearl details became popular on dresses as the decade progressed – leading up to the fringe detailing that we now associate with a typical flapper dress.

Similar to the daytime look, hair would be cropped in a short bob or Eaton cut and worn straight or set in Marcel or finger waves. Alternatively small curls would be piled up tight on the head. Tiara-esque silver headbands or elaborate crown-like head pieces were popular, often decorated with pearls and feathers.

For accessories women wore pearls or silver jewellery, plume fans were popular too.

To recreate the look:
If you’re based in London, do head to the Vintage Emporium just off Brick Lane for the most incredible Twenties vintage dresses and accessories. Online shop Dorothea’s Closet Vintage also stocks incredible Twenties vintage, even if you can’t afford it, get inspired by her stock. Again, check out Etsy, which harbours incredible treasures such as this emerald green Twenties gem (it’s nearly £600…).

Don’t be put up off if you can’t afford to buy any Twenties vintage – just be creative, improvise, make your own: a simple white, sleeveless, ankle-length dress dressed up with a stole and a homamade feather fan will work wonders.

London Fashion week outfit: vintage 20s

I borrowed some 20s vintage off my friend Irma for LFW. I really love the cloche hat so much I’m going to get one myself.

Me and Akeela from Head in the Clouds – she looked amazing with her 20s finger waves.

All you need is love

My brother got married yesterday. I went for a 20s meets the 60s monochrome with fake fur look.

So that’s how it’s done

Although London has some great vintage nights, I am yet to find a 20s/Prohibition party I actually enjoy. Mostly, these evenings are just too fancy dress for me  (nothing wrong with fancy dress – at a fancy dress party) with guys in cheap, cardboard  ‘gangster’ hats and girls with such garish feather head-dresses they look more Pocahontas than Louise Brooks.

Which is why I am swooning over these amazing pictures from the Annual Gatsby Summer Afternoon, which I found on amazing blog Vixen Vintage. I am speechless, London, take note!

all images Vixen Vintage, do check out more pictures on her amazing Flickr!

For that 20s sailorette in me

I’d love to wear this Sonia Rykiel knitted sailor top with a jet black Louise Brooks bob.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

image:fifiwilson.com

Style muse: The Bright Young Things

Three cheers to excess, hedonism and fun. I love the 20s socialites that became known as the Bright Young Things. They propagated celebrity, pointless partying, elaborate fancy dress events and had their drug den houses coated in foil 40 years before Warhol’s Factory. Their modernity is still incredibly relevant and hasn’t lost any of its charm, shock value and appeal today.

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