Musicians and college kids often wore wide striped blazers over white pants as a summer outfit. This look was popularized by Barber Shop quartet singers, ragtime pianists, and traveling salesmen (aka The Music Man.) Some costumes skip the blazer and wear a striped vest, bow tie and armbands/sleeve garters instead. A straw boater hat completes the festive summer outfit.
Everyone else wore the quality of suit they could afford. Usually, a man had 3 or 4 suits he would wear during the week, changing shirts daily. Business suits were purchased with an extra set of pants since they wore out quicker than suit coats and vests. Dress shirts were striped with white round or pointed collars that were detachable up until the late 1920s. Cufflinks were also necessary. Learn more about men’s shirts here.
If you’re one of the millions of women who love wearing their hair in curls, you’ll know how much of a hassle it is too though. How many seemingly endless hours do you spend a week trying to achieve the perfect curls? How often have you found yourself wanting to throw your curlers in the trash? Curling your hair is a nightmare – fact. The solution? If you curl your hair near daily anyway and know that’s not likely to change any time soon, why not get a perm? Your curls will last for months (the tighter the curls the longer the perm) so you’ll have no more daily hassle with curlers. Your hair will look great and you’ll save yourself heaps of precious time! Win, win!
Larger hats were better at making the wearer the center of attention. The crown was effectively trimmed with tubular stitching and the semi-poke brim faced with taffeta. It was a hat so spectacular it had to be seen to be truly appreciated. The designer had used the velvet flower and grosgrain ribbon as well as band and bow ends. Hats like these were featured quite prominently in exclusive New York fashion shops, costing twice as much as most other hats.
Another formal suit worn by business executives, politicians, and grooms was the morning suit. It consisted of grey and black striped pants, grey vest, black morning coat, wingtip shirt, tie, and top hat. It was a style that was fading quickly except on special occasions and with the upper classes. It has come back around again today in wedding attire for grooms.
The Western World was seized with Egyptomania when King Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered in 1922. The Egyptian King appeared to be dressed in pure gold sequins and had nets of faience beads spread over him. Immediately sequins and beading became all the rage, as well as Ancient Egyptian style emblems and pictograms (which often didn’t make sense). Even 1920s fashion illustrations were influenced, with models appearing in profile drawn in a flat style with a distinct black outline.
Some women did go without body shaping entirely, or might wear just a very loose silk “bra” (they were not called that at the time) or longer line vest with loose fitting French knickers which seem rather big to us but were extremely brief for the period. A combination teddy could also be worn. In winter, knitted wool jersey versions of these were much warmer. A slip or petticoat, and stockings in silk or rayon, with a garter if it wasn’t already attached to the other undergarments, completed the underwear.
Are you ready to embrace your dark side? If so, make like the street style stars of Spring/Summer 2019 Fashion Month and try a neo-gothic look. To wear the trend, follow their lead and pair an all-over black ensemble with on-trend pieces. Essentially, you can wear what you like, but remember to keep the overall vibe dark and moody with a chic twist. Also, consider adding a dark red lip for a sexy touch.
"The human figure and portrait are generally the hardest ideas to illustrate. It is my opinion that today’s generation of artists and especially digital artists are too restricted in their work by using photography [as a sole resource]. In fashion illustration it is important to have the experience of gesture drawing or painting the body in motion." — Mateja Kovač, fashion illustrator
“It was the death of the last grand master, René Bouché, in 1963 which really signified the end of classic fashion illustration,” says David Downton, who has almost single handedly kept illustration in the limelight over the last 20 years having sketched in the front row of the couture shows for the last 40 seasons straight; illustrated countless celebrities for Vanity Fair and, in 2009, drawn Cate Blanchett for a record-selling anniversary issue of Australian Vogue - as well as having played “artist in residence” at Claridges for the last decade where he can often be found in Le Fumoir sketching anyone from Julianne Moore or Grace Jones to Michael Caine. “It coincided with the rise of the celebrity photographers - and fashion always voraciously wants what is new.”
Loose wave perms are a great choice if you’re not totally committed to having super curly or wavy hair. As the name suggests, this type of perm creates loose waves which can be easily compared to the beach wave look, something which looks fab come summertime. It can be done on any length of hair but the longer the better in this case or the waves likely won’t have much effect on your look.
The Italian-born Frenchman is lauded for his 20th century pieces that looked as though they were from the 25th century. As Cardin rose to fame in the age of the space race, his creations took on an air of futurism. His so-called bubble dresses had all the fixings of science fiction, combining earthly elegance with out-of-this-world colors and avant garde design. They may be wacky, sure, but Cardin’s clothes showed a freedom of expression that highlighted larger ideals, in particular the emancipation of women. The visionary designer fell out of critical favor when he attached his name to less fashionable items, from cars to umbrellas, but his futuristic, space-centric legacy will live to infinity and beyond.
The first world war was over in Britain in 1918 – of course its immediate effects were going to be felt well into the 1920s, as well as resonating through the entire lives of those who lived through it. During the war women had been catapulted from their roles as almost hidden “domestic angels” into public life and a much wider range of jobs than they had ever had before. This required a wide range of outfits of a comfortable and practical nature that they weren’t about to relinquish.
A career as a fashion illustrator typically requires a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field. Those interested in pursuing this career will need to build a portfolio to showcase their work to potential employers. Fashion illustrators use art to express fashion designs and ideas, and they may be employed by publications, studios, fashion designers or clothing manufacturers.
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.
Shoes and accessories were more dramatic, too. Shoes would be pumps or strap heels in a medium or high height. Stockings would be sheerer and in colors to match the dress. Gloves would also match or be white (and were taken off to eat). A hat would be whatever is most becoming to the dress, such as a feather trim sun hat or decorative cloche. Learn more about dressing in afternoon party dresses.
Not everyone was a bright young thing in the 1920s, nor did they want to wear the latest fashion of drop waist dresses. Many mature women continued to wear the fashions of 10 years prior to the 1920s. This meant long, modest gowns, in dark rich fabrics. Tall lace up boots or strappy heels were more comfortable for women who grew up wearing them. Hats were larger as well, not the helmet cloches of the roaring twenties.
Undoubtedly it's harder to project our own identity onto a famous supermodel draped across a staircase, or align one’s own reality with the digitally enhanced, perceived perfection of a fashion shoot. An illustration is more translatable - it allows for a different daydream. And in a world where reality is often all too stark, and fashion can be somewhat daunting, it's not surprising that our artistic tastes are erring on the side of a little escapism.
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.