Gabi Gregg set off on this journey to tackle the infuriating gap for plus size women. She started off a blog about a decade ago to show and pave a path in a way that promotes body positivity while being impeccably stylish, vibrant, and colorful. Her outfits are full of life just like her, and so is her clothing line Premme, which caters to plus sizes. She brought, what she calls ‘the fatkini’, by collaborating with ‘Playful Promises’ and ‘Swimsuits’, and showed us how it’s done. We need more women like her, and thanks to social media, we get to follow her around.
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!
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.”
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.
The housewife wore a simple cotton dress, thick black cotton stockings, and low heel Oxfords. Dresses were colorful plaids, checks, stripes, or solid colors with pretty embroidery and trim such as lace or rick rack. Housedresses often had white collars. A woman’s apron was usually handmade. The housedresses and aprons were basic yet durable enough for the rigors of 1920s household chores (vacuums, washers, and irons were just entering the marketplace). For the very poor, a cotton housedress was the only outfit for the day. Shop 20s house dresses/day dresses
“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.”
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:
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.
Why: While Lesego doesn’t have a blog per se, she does have a very active Instagram full of gorgeous photography and thoughtful captions (she occasionally dabbles in vlogging too). Be it the latest fashion trends, amazing lingerie or even those tricky to style narrow sunglasses, she’s a deft hand at styling and out to destroy any preconceptions of what a curvy girl can and can’t wear.