Saturday, 18 August 2012

1930s overview

The 1930s will always be rememeberd for its Hollywood glamour, epitomized by elongated bias-cut dresses. New fabrics encouraged designers to experiment with new designs. The silhouette was more important than details or embellishments. Dresses were cut to follow the natural line of the body and accentuate the female figure. Shoulders and backs were exposed for the first time. Bias-cuts, that clung to every curve, and halternecks became very popular.
Although the great depression in 1929 meant that designers had to work with cheaper fabrics. Most women could not afford expensive dresses of past decades, while movie idols such as Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis represented glamour they could only dream of.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

1920s inspired film: The Great Gatsby

Director: Jack Clayton
Starring: Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern, Sam Waterston, Karen Black.
Release date: March 29 1974
Location: United States of America
Based on: 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
Set in: 1925

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Other key features from 1920s fashion

 Fur: Fur coats or trimmed with fur were popular. Many had a single big button while others were wrapped around, they would have wide cuffs and fell to the knee.

Velvet: Velvet was used in jackets, wraps and dresses; this material was part of the style of opulence and the luxury of art deco style.

The sheath dress: The slinky sheath dress was made from chiffon, silk or crepe de chine. It clung to the female form and hung from shoe string straps.

Fringing: Evening dresses with fringing were very popular with flappers in the 1920s.

Style russe: Chanel's early 1920s Russian style, attributed to her liason with Russian grand Duke Dmitri, consisted of tunic shapes, fur trimmings and embroideries. This look reflected the influx of Russians to Paris after the revolution. 'Style Russe' would be revisited by many designers, such as Saint Laurent's 'Russian revolution' in the mid-1970s.

Dropped waist: Curves and the hourglass figure was out and belts, sashes or ties were worn around the hips. The waist disappeared to create the fashionable straight look beloved in the 1920s.

Trousers: Trend-setting women in the 1920s would wear silken pyjamas and sailor pants for early evening or as fashionable resort wear.

Silk or wool, striped or plain or with trope l'oeil motifs, the jumper was a key element of flapper style in the 20s. For example this tromp l'oeil bow sweater by Elsa Schiaparelli,1927.

Bare backs and bias cuts: Cut on the bias, thee new body hugging dresses seemed to spiral around the body and moved with the wearer. Backless dresses, with or without trains, began to make an appearance later in the 1920s.

Le garconne look: A new androgyny accompanied the flapper era, women wore short hair and  straight loose dresses that revealed bare arms.

Bobbed hair
: Part of the le garconne look, was very popular with flappers who defied the older generation by bobbing their long locks and dancing the Charleston.

Cloche hats: A fitted, bell-shaped hat (cloche is the french word for bell.) They were made especially popular in the 20s. Worn low on the forehead, with the wearer's eyes only slightly below the brim. In later years, a summer cloche might be made from sisal or straw. Cloches could also be made of beads or lace for evening wear, for cocktails, dancing or even for bridal wear.

Finger waves: Very fashionable with most people in the 20s and early 30s, made popular by flappers.

Friday, 13 July 2012

1920s Flapper (2)

Signature Flapper elements:

  • Uneven split hems or handkerchief points that are longer at the back.
  • Egyptian and art-deco inspired motifs.
  • Visible seam decoration and double seams. 
  • Diagonal lines and asymmetric trimmed necklines.
  • Pockets, buttons and belts. Pleated panels on skirts and knife pleats.
  • Day dresses belted around the hips
  • Low cut necklines and backs with thin straps and narrow trailing scarves that were sometimes attached to dresses.


Friday, 6 July 2012

The Flapper

    By 1924 flappers were as known for their reckless behaviour smoking and putting makeup on in public as for their style. They would tape up their breast to achieve a boyish and youthful look without any curves. This new silhouette was straight up and down like a board and became known as 'le garçonne' (the flapper.)
Waistlines dropped dramatically in 1925. By 1927 it disappeared altogether and the hem had risen an outrageous 15 inches to just below the knee.

Flapper dresses were loose, straight and sleeveless, with arms, legs and backs exposed for the first time. The short shift dress, fell straight from the shoulder to just below the knee dominated the mid to late 20s.
For daywear the three-piece jersey suit was a must, including a blouse with a patterned cardigan or Chanel style cardigan-jacket was teamed with a narrow pleated skirt. Day dresses were simple with details like horizontal tucks or bias-cut panels.
Coco wearing Chanel jacket
Horizontal tucks

'20s sleeveless rayon
 or silk bias cut dress
Close up of bias cut

Monday, 2 July 2012

1920s Overview

 The 20s was the beginning of the media age. People got ideas from the radio, copying films or reading fashion magazines such as Vogue or vanity fair.     
 The coats were heavy, the shirts were sleeveless and the neckline was low. The first sweaters and pleated skirts were in the shops. It was all about bows, beads and flowers. Snuff boxes, long pipes, jewellery with pearls, cloche hats and short haircuts "a la garçonne were all very popular.

1920s fashion is set to become very popular as the newest remake of "The Great Gatsby" hits the big screens on the 26th of December 2012 in Ireland. Having read the book and seen this fantastic trailer I am really looking forward to this movie.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

20th century fashion 1900- 1919

Film: Titanic
Director: James Cameron
Starring: Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Release date: November 1, 1997
Set; Atlantic ocean, 1912

Monday, 18 June 2012

20th century fashion 1900-1919

Film: Meet me at St. Louis

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Starring: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Lucille Bremer, Mary Astor, Tom Drake, Marjorie Main.
Release date: 28 November 1944

Location: St Louis, Missouri, USA
Set in: 1904

Sunday, 17 June 2012

20th Century fashion 1900 to 1919

Icon: Irene Castle
Name: Irene Foote
Born: 17th April 1893
          New Rochelle,                   New York
Died: 25 January 1969

  • Vernon and Irene Castle were a husband and wife team of ballroom dancers of the early 20th century.
  • Irene Castle who popularized the bob in 1914 when she cut her own hair in advance of electivee surgery.
  • They also helped to popularize the foxtrot, ragtime, jazz rhythms and African-American music.
  • Afterr serving with distinction as a pilot in World War 1, Vernon died in a civilian plane crash in 1918.
  • Irene continued to perform and made silent films over the  next decade.
  • She remarried, had children and became an animal-rights activist in 1939
  • Her life with Vernon was dramatized in The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle.

20th Century fashion 1900-1919

Icon: Edna Purviance

Name: Olga Edna Purviance
Born: 21st October 1895
         Paradise Valley, Nevada
Died:11th January 1958 
         Hollywood, Los Angeles

  • Edna was an actress during the silent movie era.
  • In eight years she appeared in over thirty films with Charlie Chaplin.
  • In 1915 Edna was a plumber in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, while Chaplin was working on his second film with Essanay Studios. He was looking for a leading lady for A Night Out, and one of his associates noticed her at a Tate's Café in San Francisco and thought she should be cast in the role. Chaplin arranged a meeting with her and she got the job.
  • Although she was romantically involved with Chaplin for several years, Purviance eventually married John Squore, whom she wed in 1938 and who died in 1945.
  • Chaplin kept her on his payroll until she died of cancer in 1958, aged 62.