Style Know-How

The Jazz Era – Fashion in the 20s

20s Scene

20s Scene via.

The new glamour doesn’t come from the disco days of the 80s or the 90s, but instead draws its energy from the very beginnings. Get inspired from the lifestyle and the fashion from almost a century ago, from the middle of the Jazz era.

Regarding the views of the ideologies of those years The Lost Generation, was probably the best to illustrate the impact of the 20s. This group stood for a large number of artists and American writers who were living in Europe at that moment. Famous names such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald or John Steinbeck took part in literary and social manifestos at that moment.

A recent image of this phenomenon can be experienced in Midnight in Paris (2011 – Woody Allen’s latest masterpiece) that shows an escape from the modern Paris into the social scene of the twenties. Also, the remake of the American masterpiece The Great Gatsby – announced for the end of this year, will have Leonardo diCaprio starring as the lead male actor.

Midnight in Paris - 20s Moda

Midnight in Paris – 20s Fashion

Big Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Even if the economical boom of that time would have allowed the indulgence of new riches and escapes, the prohibition prevented alcohol consumption. The places therefore became a cover for illegal traffic and boot-legging. But it wasn’t just the gangsters who were taking advantage of the Prohibition, it was the women as well as they were empowered with freedom they never had before such as the right to vote or to dress as they pleased. This emancipation was reflected in their attitude and in the fact that smoking in public became cool and clothing was more and more revealing.

20s - Outfits - Shoes, hats, under knee skirts

20s – Outfits – Shoes, hats, under knee skirts

Nightlife - 20s

Nightlife – 20s

F. Scott Fitzgerald said about those times that the parties were bigger, the lifestyle was heavier, but the morality was less important.”

As fashion was concerned, art-deco details were irreplaceable for the evening looks. Luxury and opulence needed to be observer and dramatic, not only during the evenings spent at the bar or in the clubs, but also throughout the day. This is mainly because drama was big and the soundtrack of the twenties was Jazz. Jelly Rol Morton, Louis Armstrong or Duke Ellington are essential in the entertainment scene in the beginning of the beginning of the century. Additionally, James P. Johnson defines the dance steps of the decade by inventing the Charleston.

This is the background of all those embellished and glamorous outfits decorated by stones, pearls, tassels or shinny embroidery. The iconic elements of the 20s are nevertheless widely known: the flapper dress, short bobbed hair, the LBD introduced by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel are just a few of the elements which define the fashion scene of the twenties.

We owe so much to this decade and we would have never discovered minimalism if we hadn’t known what More is, in the “Less is more” motto. Thus many of the creations developed in the Twenties have pioneered a certain modern item: the sewing and complicated embroidery and floral tones (Jean Lanvin), knitted bathing suits, sport outfits and the tennis skirt (Jean Patou) or even the trousers (Paul Poiret).

20s - Lace dress

20s – Lace dress

20s - Outfit with pearls

20s – Outfit with pearls

20's - Feathers

20’s – Feathers

In order to get a 20s look, you can try a few of the flapper interpretation, hair accessories and fascinators are also spot-on, not to mention the deux-piece outfits or the shiny art-deco details.

GET the Flapper!

You should know that the best way to achieve this look is to get into the twenties spirit. The word “flapper” designates the twenties socialyte.

Imagine the short bouclé hair, a straight low waist dress without any cleavage highlight, who loved to smoke or apply makeup in public and who showcased the rebel attitude. The French used to call this typology ‘garçonne’ due to the dramatic transformation of the silhouette compared to the previous years women were wrapped in tiny corsets.

Many of the clothes from these days did not make it through the years because of the delicate craftsmanship and the extreme beading, but there are many sources where these clothes get featured at their biggest potential. Books or movies tell the perfect story. Recently there has been quite a focus around embroidery and beading and many 2011 and 2012 collections showcase so many Twenties inspired looks.

20s Dresses - Flapper Style

20s Dresses – Flapper Style

20s Outfits - How to wear

Vogue US – 2007, Dress – Mango, Accesories – Accessorize

20s Moda - Red Dress and hat with feather

20s Moda

Kate Moss - Flapper Style

Kate Moss – Flapper Style – Topshop

20s Moda - White

20s Moda – White

Karolina Kurkova - 20s outfit

Karolina Kurkova – 20s outfit

Lauren Conrad - Flapper Style

Lauren Conrad – Flapper Style

20s Reinterpretation - Gucci Spring 2012

20s Reinterpretation – Gucci Spring 2012

The latest reinterpretation of the Jazz Era highlights the luxurious details and the opulence, in which dresses become jewels.

Photo Sources: Fashion Era,, Paris Apartment, I am Lexaco

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