As women’s style became more relaxed, there was more emphasis than ever before on sportswear and swimwear. We were still a long way off from the bikini here; a staple part of 1940s fashion, it wasn’t invented until 1946. But for the first time women could move freely and actually be active in their activewear, so all in all it was a pretty revolutionary decade.
Inquiring for my daughter. Where is the best Fashion Merchandise Marketing school in Sacramento and San Francisco area? Whenever I goggle these schools, some say Institute of Art in Sacramento, and some say FIDM, and others. I’m so confused I have no idea, which is the best college for my money. I have decided to go to American River College to get my Associates, and then I have no idea where to continue my fashion degree.
The 20’s was a dynamic decade and in fashion trends we find a range of contemporary currents and expressions reflected; everything from jazz and Art Deco to archaeological finds in the Orient and above all – social change. Particularly women’s fashion underwent drastic changes as garments were now designed to allow their bodies to move freely, drive vehicles, play sports or dance the night away. The ideal figure turned straight, with no emphasis on either bust, waist or hips and the extreme figure shaping corsets were finally abandoned. Skirts exposed more of the legs than ever before – for a short period even the knee caps!
The above describes what we think of as the quintessential “1920s Flapper”. Interestingly, the word “Flapper” was originally used around that time to describe a girl of about 13-19 and only became the term for this kind of woman gradually following the 1920 film “The Flapper”, which follows the (mis)fortunes of a schoolgirl and her fall from grace.
A tailored dress made of a silk blend crepe or wool was also appropriate. These dresses featured a natural waist sash in the early 20s that gradually moved down into a drop waist with a thin belt. Dresses fit loose and usually slipped on overhead. A small collar or wide open flat collar with a bow tie at the neck was essential to the 20s wardrobe. Details were added to the dress that elongated the body such as vertical pintucks, a row of buttons, and pleated skirts.
Farmers, steel workers, miners and railroad men all had a distinctive uniform or dress code. For a general manual labor position, sturdy denim and canvas overalls or coveralls with a plaid wool work shirt and tough leather boots was the standard dress. In cooler weather, a rain or oil slicker and fur-lined coat protected men from the elements. Manual labor was very hard. Progress was made for better labor conditions in the 1920s and more time off (yea weekends!), but the work itself was extremely difficult and not very lucrative. Work clothing took quite a beating and needed to be mended and replaced frequently.
For the mature women who chose to dress more modern, there were styles that were modest and simply decorated. Lane Bryant was one of the first mail order catalogs to design garments for the mature, plus size and maternity market. Most of the Lane Bryant fashions were modeled after the same designs worn in the mainstream, however, designs were usually of dark solid colors or small all over prints with vertical lines created by long pleats, long lapels, and narrow belts. These style details slimmed the body and looked flattering on women of all ages. Shop plus size dresses and mature women’s dresses (modest.)
Whatever the catalyst, fashion illustration is having 'a moment’. It has been fidgeting the industry for some time - perhaps since Nick Knight introduced Helen Downie’s Unskilled Worker into fashion's limelight two years ago, and it’s now truly kicking. Grace Coddington and Michael Robert’s GingerNutz story in our December issue - whose cover itself generated a multitude of illustrated versions that flooded the social channels - stands as definitive proof. The video of Coddington talking about it generated 10,000 views in its first twelve hours on YouTube, while Caroline Stein’s Instagram version of Pat McGrath’s LABS generated 100 likes-a-minute for the first hour it was live. People clearly like looking at it.
Notorious gangsters and bootleggers of the 1920s wore 3 piece suits, too. What they wore was determined by their wealth, not their uh… occupation. Some well-to-do gangsters were known for wearing white spats over their boots, just like men did in the early 1900s. A walking cane or rolled umbrella was another accessory that said “old money”. Younger gangsters (the muscle and weapon men) wore whatever suits they could afford. They often did not have matching vests, and they fit poorly since they were purchased second hand. Learn how to dress like a 1920s gangster here.
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.
Consider the illustrations that still appear on sewing patterns today. While many companies that manufacture sewing patterns have turned to actual photographs of the craft product itself, many of them stick to the age-old style of drawings and paintings showing the pattern designs in completed form on imaginary models. Companies like Simplicity and McCall’s still use fashion illustration on their products, as well as continuing to produce vintage patterns whose packaging design styles have inspired fashion illustrators for decades.
“It’s happening now because social media is so hungry for content, but there is so much cold content out there; so much straight product, which has very little emotional resonance with the audience” says Downie, who was discovered by Nick Knight a year after now-famously taking up painting at the age of 48, and now works with Alessandro Michele at Gucci. “Luxury brands have had to find a way to show their collections in a warm way.”
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.
Women’s shoes became more delicate and pretty over the past decades simply because they were more visible with short dresses. For daytime use, the low hee lace-up oxford shoe in brown, white or black was worn everyday. For something a little nicer for going out or dressing up it was the classic mary jane heel with a single strap across the front. The T strap heel is the most famous evening shoe because it held onto the foot while dancing the Charleston. They often came in black and gold or silver hand painted designs to really stand out on the dance floor. There were slip on pumps inspired by colonial-era shoes and multip strap heels int he early 20s.
Although bodies may have seemed slimmer during the 1920s era, this was an illusion as most women dressed to flatten their bodies – the kind of underwear we wear today was unheard of in the twenties. The corselette offered a whole new way of shaping the body, and unlike the corsets that had gone before, in the Edwardian period, the corselette didn’t press the waist in or lift the bust, but flattened the chest and held in the hips.
This season, street style stars let their animal instincts take over with bold and wild prints. In particular, loud leopard print was a favourite amongst the fashionistas and appeared on a variety of garments, including pants, coats, dresses, suits, and more. To follow the lead of these chic ladies and unleash your own inner jungle cat, choose strong and striking designs with bold and bright colours. Alternatively, consider an all-over leopard print look with matching separates or a dress/jumpsuit. You can even add a leopard print bag or shoes if you’re feeling playful.
Ralph Lauren is worth $7.5 billion, and he got it all because of his fashion sense. In 1970, the first Polo logo was seen in Lauren’s line of women’s suits that was designed in the classic men’s style. Two years later, the famous short sleeve shirt with the Polo emblem appeared, and it soon became a classic. These shirts have been collected by men all over the world ever since. Lauren, on the other hand, has been collecting rare and classic cars. The collection is so unique that it has been featured in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
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.
When you hear ‘casual’, you probably think ‘frumpy’; and the casual fashion style could really be ANYTHING but frumpy! Women who indulge in the casual fashion style don’t grab the exotic and bold items off the shelves. They would much rather prefer a simple white tee and a pair of black pants with a coordinating and trendy purse. The entire look is very modern and uncluttered with an extra touch of subtle elegance.
College men wore looser suits, often without jackets- just a pair of pants, shirt, tie, belt and maybe a vest. Hats were optional as well. Raccoon coats were not. Whatever the trendy fashion of the year was college kids had to wear it. They also had to wear college colors in a scarf, a pocket square, bag, hat band, pin or ring. School spirit was vital to the dress code.
A significant section of the blog is “Outfits,” and this predominantly features what Grasie wears in her daily activities. The posts are highly visual, with captions describing the outfits worn, often explaining why Grasie likes and wears particular items. She generally includes links to sites where her fans can buy items to emulate her look, often giving alternatives in various price ranges.
Some women did though: they did all of those things. Most adopted some elements or other in 1920s fashion, just as we pick and choose from fashions today. It’s also interesting to note that this wasn’t the only fashion available by any means: women had a wide variety of hat styles to chooses from, hairstyles for many stayed long and even the bob came in many different varieties, skirt lengths varied from knee to just above the ankle (you’d be quite old-fashioned to wear one longer, though), voluminous skirts were worn with fitted tops and, by the way, the Little Black Dress wasn’t invented in 1926 by Coco Chanel and immediately adopted as the only dress the chic could possibly wear: working women had been wearing black for decades already and fashionable clothes came in a rainbow of colours, black included.
Some illustrators are hired for full-time, permanent positions, but many operate as independent freelancers who work on short-term contracts. An understanding of business concepts and a strong network of contacts can help fashion illustrators manage their freelance business and find work. To stand out in this field, illustrators need to polish their skills and develop a personal style.
From the beginning of the century, modern art shocked the world: cubism, fauvism, futurism, constructivism and the Weiner Werkstatte suggested a different kind of aesthetics that was radically simplified which not only affected pictures on walls but fashion, too. A lot of modern artists worked with fashion houses to design clothes and some, such as the Futurists, directly mentioned clothing in their manifestos. This had quite an influence of female dress, which moved towards a straighter, less complicated silhouette.
That is certainly the experience of Anna Laurini (@annalauriniblue) who has seen her street work welcomed into the fashion art family with voracious enthusiasm. Having studied at Central Saint Martins, Laurini began to emblazon her signature Cubist-influenced, red-lipped face across billboards in Shoreditch and Mayfair “as a break from the studio” and is now regularly called upon for collaborations, most recently by Rupert Sanderson and Japanese label Black by Moussy. “It’s surprised me how popular my work has been in fashion terms,” she says. “I never expected it.” And again, Anna says, it’s the audience that is key to the success of her work. “I never give the woman a story as I paint her,” she says. “It’s really up to the viewer; people often tells me that my work resonates with their particular mood. I like that it’s relatable on a personal level.”
We toyed with it on Vogue.co.uk during my decade as editor of the site from 2005 to 2015, with a shoppable version of the Fashion Illustrated Gallery (founded by William Ling; stocking the work of all the prominent modern illustrators including Downton and Ling’s wife Tanya), running alongside an illustrated blog by Downton himself written from the Fumoir - but it didn’t get huge traction. In contrast, today illustration generates great engagement, even recently making it into the realms of the still-controversial space of branded content with a campaign of illustrated fashion fairytales that ran across Vogue, GQ and Tatler which surpassed all commercial targets for a month-long campaign within the first 24 hours.
The bohemian fashion style- always referred to commonly as the ‘boho’ look- can easily be described as a style that focuses mainly on wild and intricate patterns and exotic textures. They get most of their inspiration from gypsys and hippies, creating a standout finish with plenty of tie dye, geometrics, chains, fringes, and other eye-catching designs.
Now that I’ve told you about various perm types, it seems only fitting that I give you a few instructions on how to care for your new perm too. Firstly, do not – DO NOT – wash your hair for an absolute minimum of 24 hours after having your perm done. Doing so will deactivate the chemicals used to set your perm before your perm has had a chance to take hold and thus your hair will return to being exactly the same as it was before. If you don’t want your perm to be not only a waste of time but money too then this tip is a must!
"A good fashion illustration for me is the one that does not look overworked. It needs to be easygoing and extraordinary, it needs to stand out. A good illustration is never overwhelmed or done by a strictly mechanical approach. At the same it's exactly the overall level of your drawing technique that makes one stand out." — Kato, fashion illustrator
Also – I’m getting the impression from surfing around that ladies (flappers) did not carry purses but only little make-up bags. i’ve been wondering whether this is just for evenings out (when their escort would be expected to have bulky things like cash ) and whether bigger handbags were used during the day. .[I pretty sure I’ve seen Margaret with a bag on Boardwalk Empire….]
Leandra Medine is an American author, fashion blogger, and a humor writer. The blog ‘Man Repeller’ is a quirky yet rooted and an honest place that talks about everything women love, and men hate – to quote her. She has an exceptional ability to blend high-street fashion and giving it a comedic aesthetic to prove her life’s motto that you don’t have to take everything seriously. That’s how she came about the idea of starting this blog with a bunch of others that align with her ideas. It is a blog that is about more than just one woman sharing her personal style, but rather a team ringing in millions of monthly views. Check the blog, and you’d know what we are talking about.