Women who enjoy the artsy style tend to stay away from the traditional ‘trends’ of the fashion world and love to make a statement with their clothing. Oftentimes they will be the creator of their own fashions, designing and creating their own blouses, hats, and jackets. Each artsy style will be different per woman, as everyone has their own idea of what ‘art’ truly is. That’s what makes this particular fashion style so unconventional and interesting.
A woman’s most common social activity was having tea with friends (or a lunch for businessmen). Tea parties could be semi-formal or formal. A tea dress was an afternoon dress made of lighter, brighter materials and more trim. The afternoon dress was a thing of sophisticated beauty. White dresses worn in summer were very attractive while pastels or rich jewel tones offered variety in the other seasons.
Life Drawing: While many fashion illustrators have highly stylized work, the basic foundations of drawing figures from life and anatomy are necessary in order to create figures in a variety of poses, with and without reference, for most any project. No one says you have to be a master at life drawing. Rather, an understanding of the human form allows an artist to distort it as they see fit to create interesting and stylized figures that can fit a variety of projects and the needs of clients.
Another influence the émigrés had been in bringing their traditional style of embroidery to Paris. Russian “peasant” embroidery appeared on extremely sophisticated outfits, and in some cases mingled with the traditions and motifs from many other countries. It was called “Oriental” but it encompassed designs from many countries. The Ballet Russe had widely introduced this fantasy style to Paris and the city was also fascinated by black jazz bands and the dancing of Josephine Baker. This admiration meant that black artists and culture also influenced the fashions of the time.
Politically, the end of the war had also seen the suffragists win the right of voting for certain women over the age of 30. It was followed in 1928 by votes for all women over the age of 21. This, combined with the above created what the media termed “The New Woman”. The New Woman voted, travelled alone into her job in the city, smoked, painted her face, cut her hair, wore short skirts, stayed up late dancing in them, and, if you listened to an increasingly hysterical press on the subject, neglected her man and her home life to do all of these things.
Traveling in the 1920s was a dirty affair. Cars were dusty, trains were hot and buses were so packed with people that people were bound to be a wrinkled mess by the time they arrived at their destination. For those reasons, 1920s traveling clothes, for both men and women, were simple suits, a sturdy overcoat, comfortable hat, leather gloves, leather purse or luggage, and low profile shoes. Colors were drab grey, brown and blue that showed the least amount of dirt possible. Materials that wrinkled, like linen and cotton, were avoided, and instead knit, wool or sturdy cotton blends were preferred.
Why you should follow: Corsica native and veteran fashion blogger Garance Doré began her blog in 2006 primarily as a place to showcase her skills as a fashion illustrator. Her blog's function quickly turned from showcasing her art and photography to writing about fashion and beauty. This is a great place to discover classic fashion with a French twist.
Tiaras and diamond hair slides were also popular. They were designed to draw attention to the daring hairstyle. Shoes usually sported a kitten heel, nothing higher. For jewellery, as well as the hair decorations mentioned above, slave bangles, positioned above the elbow accentuated the bare arm, and a collection of bangles at the wrist also looked good. As well as this, ropes of pearls had been made fashionable by Chanel and dangly earrings were still in vogue.
Evening dresses were made of fine materials like silk, chiffon, taffeta and light velvet. They were usually sleeveless for young women and long sleeves for older women. Dresses featured the iconic ’20s drop waist with layers or tiers of fabric creating some fullness from the waist down. Beaded dresses were the most glamorous and most expensive. Some had fringe or metal sequins, but this was quite rare. The short, fringed flapper dress is a ’20s myth. Real flappers wore knee-length or longer gowns that swished and swayed white dancing to jazz.
In the early years, suits were slim and plain colored. By the mid ’20s, the wide leg look with a loose suit coat made men much more comfortable. These also came in bolder wide stripes, big checks, windowpane, plaid, and tweed fabrics. Gentlemen’s suits in the summer were nice white linen or seersucker suits. Suit jacks buttoned up with 3-4 buttons to mid-chest. The jacket hung down to the upper thigh and was worn over a matching lapel collar vest. Both coat and vest lapels were quite wide. The skinny “jazz suit” was a brief fad in the very late teens/the early ’20s only. Men wanted wide, loose clothing that felt as comfortable as their weekend attire starting around 1922.
Pretty much everyone I interviewed has a good, well-viewed social media presence. Whether on Instagram, Behance, Twitter, Facebook, or other sites, each artist connects with their public, regularly updating with artwork, prints or products they produce themselves, or in-process pieces meant to engage the viewer and get more potential clients to their accounts and portfolios. When it comes to niche design jobs, you want to do everything you can to sell your work on your terms and get the word out that you’re available for hire or have artwork for sale.
Why: Since stumbling across this gorgeous blog, our lives have been so much more colourful. Jess goes beyond the standard #OOTD posts and her site’s a sartorial treasure trove full of styling advice, galleries and even some tips for budding bloggers if you’re thinking of making this list some day. Her masterfully saturated and unique photography is what sets her apart from the rest of the pack and we still can’t stop thinking about her guide to wearing colour this spring…