After World War I, the fashion landscape shifted like tectonic plates. Once reserved for aristocrats and the affluent, high fashion had taken a noticeably more attainable turn, allowing middle class men and women in on the fun. Some luxurious textiles were finally affordable, making it possible for fashionable items to be created at home. In the 1920s it was still quite common for clothes to be handmade.

A romantic silhouette with full skirt and high waist was still in fashion in the roaring twenties, but the period was increasingly seen as the period of the knee length straight dress. Sport clothes had an impact on fashion too, as more women as well as men took part in outdoor sports. Cloche hats, dropped hems, and bobbed hair were all the rage with dancing too, the Charleston and Black Bottom were fashionable dances of the time. Party dresses were often adorned with rhinestones or real diamonds, shimmering fringes, tiaras and bandeaus. Knitwear for day-wear became popular with cardigans and tunics being the thing to be seen in.
Art is subjective. By extension, fashion illustration is subjective. What makes something “good” will depend on the project, client, designer, and viewer. The needs of one piece may not fulfill the needs of another. That said, however, I still like to ask the opinions of illustrators on what they think makes for good work or what they look for in their own work to find satisfaction. Below are some fantastic answers for what could make a good fashion illustration:

What type of shoes did women wear in the 1920s? Women didn’t have nearly as many choices when it came to footwear. Shoes from the 1920s were often laced up past the ankle, with a relatively tall heel. Day-to-day shoes were more practical, with a smaller heel. Some shoes came in brightly colored patterns, but most women wore black or brown leather shoes.
Once she arrived at her beachside destination, casual comfort was of the utmost importance. White or navy dresses with a nautical or sailor theme were what all classes would wear. Upper classes in the late 1920s began wearing a pants ensemble called beach pajamas. They were inspired by Asian prints with wide legs and a kimono style top or jacket. They were one of the few times women could wear pants. Read about the other types of women’s pants here. 
Back in the 80s, curls were 100% the hairstyle to have. Straighteners were out and curlers, crimpers and perms were everywhere. Girls loved their curls and why not? They brought volume, life and waves to their hair. Now, thirty years later, everything retro is back in fashion and women everywhere are realizing that the 80s rocked – especially when it came to fashion.
"I get requests from potential clients via email asking if I'm available and explaining what they would need me to do. I then draft and send them an estimate for them to sign. I first do a rough sketch, take a picture of it to send to the client for validation. Once it's been okayed, I finish it in black and white and if needed, I add color later using pencils as well.
The college look would be the tag most suitable for the preppy look. The collared T-Shirts are matched and A-line skirts are matched with girly blouses that are lined up in their wardrobe. A cute little headband and geeky glasses mostly do accompany with this style. The geeky look might seem to be an expensive style, but it is not required to shell out much to get this look as it is not that luxurious.

A mother-of-four, Downie clearly has a knack for “accidental” success having initially touched upon the fashion scene via a short stint making jewellery at her kitchen table which was selling at hip Covent Garden store Koh Samui in the late Nineties - before “one day I was cooking fishfinger sandwiches and [Net-A-Porter.com founder] Natalie Massenet calls up to ask if she can buy some for this new online thing she was doing”. Whether professionally trained or not, she’s keen that fashion illustrators are worthy of being called artists regardless of their status in relation to photographers. Certainly her own work is now bought by collectors all over the world at prices akin to fine art, regardless of what her subjects are depicted wearing. Citing the work of her Gucci collaborator Ignaci, as well as that of Kelly Brennan and Jill Button, “it crosses the line of design and fine art”, she says. “Whatever that umbrella term can be called. It shouldn’t be relegated to just fashion illustration.”

Ankle boots were still worn for practicality, as were sensible lace ups but the most fashionable shoes were kitten heeled t-bars or strap shoes (very useful for dancing) or low heeled court shoes. Fancy designs could come with several straps, and bows, buckles or artificial flowers were attached at the toe for decoration. The toe shape was predominantly pointed.

What type of dresses did women wear in the 1920s? Dresses came in all kinds of colors and shapes, but a very common dress seen in the late 1920s was a thin, loose silk dress with a thin belt around the waist with similar colored, delicate embroidery on the chest. The hemline wandered up and down, some women loved showing leg, others didn’t. Fortunately in the 1920s, designers catered to all different tastes.


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.
If there is one thing that is constant, it is “change”. And change is exactly the one thing that is constant when it comes to fashion. Since the beginning of human civilization, there has been a constant effort being put to make one look better. The different styles in fashion have always gone through innumerable changes. With the increase in the amount of innovations, the change in trend and fashion styles have also been rapid. So keeping that in mind, here is the list of a few fashion styles that we accepted with all our hearts:
Body wave perms help to give volume to hair. They’re generally suited for people with thin or flat hair and the curls will be larger on women with hair that is naturally quite straight. It produces loose curls and a gentle wave which is great for adding volume and a bit of life to dull hair. It’s great for shoulder length hair or longer and suits people with square faces as it tends to soften facial features.
The 1920s fashion is my favorite era in so many ways. I love the beautiful materials like; feathers, lace and pearls and the whole assertive attitude that came with the young women of the time. Fashion was celebrating youth after some dark years during the first world war. The attitude to make-up also made a dramatic and revolutionary change. Before this, it just wasn’t “proper” for girls to wear make up. Sales from make up multiplied in Paris, London and the U.S.A and reached ladies from all societies. Harmful chemicals like lead and mercury were removed. Leading innovators were Max Factor,  Maybelline, Elisabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein.

All in all the twenties were a popular time of increasing awareness of women’s rights, a more liberal attitude to fashion that stayed, with shorter knee length hemlines staying in vogue. It was a period that embraced a period of peace after one of the worst wars Great Britain had seen so far. The car became more popular, entertainment included going to the movies, radios were starting to make an appearance and some women had been given the vote.
Speaking of which, it's also quite common for freelance fashion illustrators to sell prints and assorted art merchandise, whether handled and printed themselves or by a third party, in order to increase chances for a steadier income. It's, of course, entirely up to you if you wish to offer printed works of original pieces, but establishing the marketability of artwork is often a plus for freelancers.
“It’s changing, and it’s becoming a much more friendly industry for women particularly,” says Susannah Garrod, who studied fine art at Central Saint Martins and now counts Vogue, Jimmy Choo, Emilia Wickstead and Jessica McCormack as clients as well as contributing to the Fashion Illustration Gallery stable run by William Ling. “Instagram allowed me to record more personal, rather than client-based work - which in turn generated more work ... as a 'jobbing' illustrator it’s been rewarding to be commissioned for work in my own right rather than creating illustrations strictly dictated by the client. These days fashion illustration is appreciated by a more social savvy audience as an art form rather than a 'paint by numbers' necessity to record. People are looking for something different if they commission a fashion illustrator rather than a photographer - it’s no longer the 'poor relation' but an intimate way of interpreting fashion which stands the test of time as a commentary on the industry as a whole.”
A mother-of-four, Downie clearly has a knack for “accidental” success having initially touched upon the fashion scene via a short stint making jewellery at her kitchen table which was selling at hip Covent Garden store Koh Samui in the late Nineties - before “one day I was cooking fishfinger sandwiches and [Net-A-Porter.com founder] Natalie Massenet calls up to ask if she can buy some for this new online thing she was doing”. Whether professionally trained or not, she’s keen that fashion illustrators are worthy of being called artists regardless of their status in relation to photographers. Certainly her own work is now bought by collectors all over the world at prices akin to fine art, regardless of what her subjects are depicted wearing. Citing the work of her Gucci collaborator Ignaci, as well as that of Kelly Brennan and Jill Button, “it crosses the line of design and fine art”, she says. “Whatever that umbrella term can be called. It shouldn’t be relegated to just fashion illustration.”
Tom Ford, counted among the most famous designers today, whose portfolio includes serving as a creative director for both Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci, wanted to be actor when he was growing up. He was born in Texas and even took training to be an actor. But fate had other “designs” for him. Tom ford popularity as a designer reached peaks when in the year 2000, he was declared the winner of the Best International Designer Award.
Arty as the names suggest, invokes the independent creativity of the person. These are usually the ones who want to make a statement of their own by the clothes they wear. Most of the times, they are the creators of their own fashion style. They do not follow the traditional norms and make the path for themselves. The unconventional for of art leads to innovating very many interesting forms of trends which are not restricted by the usual textbook nature of creating fashion.
Given how much love there is among vintage and repro loving folks for the styles of the decade, I really hope more brands start producing clothes in that style. I feel like a lot of people would be more into trying to get the 20s look if it was a bit easier to do. Of course, I could be wrong, and people might enjoy looking at it way more than they like wearing it, but I know I eagerly snap up anything that reminds of me of the 20s. 
Once she arrived at her beachside destination, casual comfort was of the utmost importance. White or navy dresses with a nautical or sailor theme were what all classes would wear. Upper classes in the late 1920s began wearing a pants ensemble called beach pajamas. They were inspired by Asian prints with wide legs and a kimono style top or jacket. They were one of the few times women could wear pants. Read about the other types of women’s pants here. 

Volumising perms add volume – it really is that simple. You can get them in a variety of curl styles but as a rule they tend to use quite tight curls to create extra volume. Plus, there tends to be lots of small curls opposed to a few loose big ones which adds even more volume. It’s not the easiest style in the world to manage but it is a look that is sure to get you noticed.
Akanksha Redhu’s blog is a mixed bag and treasure trove. From everyday looks to travel posts, lifestyle, beauty tips, event coverages, and of course fashion, which remains the constant for all the categories – she posts it all. What started with an idea to journal fashion statements, is now 131k strong on Instagram, and one of India’s top fashion blogs. If you don’t follow her yet, make sure you do.
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