In the early 1920s, bows weren’t necessary prominent features on women’s coats, but by the mid twenties, Paris had cabled the world to let them know: bows are in. Depending on the budget, a woman would generally choose between wool velour and fur. A particularly nice coat might be made of all-wool Venise Bolivia, with a Paris bow and buckle that fastened in front of the left hip.
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.
We could all use some fashion inspiration, and that’s why we rounded off some of the best out there. Not all of us can afford designer collections or limited editions, but we can surely pick up from the cues these bloggers give away, and style our outfits to make them look exciting, if anything. Who are your style icons? Do you have fashion gurus you follow? What are your go-to fashion blogs? Let us know by dropping in a text in the comments section below.
Folds and Drapery: Clothing is a big focus for fashion illustration. Really, it’s one of the main focuses, and what often makes fashion illustration successful (which is something we’ll discuss in depth below) is an attention to the way fabric moves on and around the figure wearing it. Often clothing can be used to illustrate a more dynamic pose or draw attention to an area within a composition. Having a good understanding of folds, drapery, how clothing hangs, and the limits of different kinds of textiles will allow you to use space and your design medium to your advantage when creating beautiful fashion illustrations.
It wasn’t until towards the end of the Edwardian period that things started to change again, towards more liberal attitudes once more. The First World War had seen women take a far more prominent role with driving, land work and machine operative jobs being taken over by women, while the men were at war. This gave women a new confidence, they smoked, they drank and they drove cars. They were different women to the ones they’d been before the war.
Paris was still the centre of fashion in the 1920s. If a dress didn’t come from Paris or wasn’t a copy of something that came from Paris, it simply wasn’t fashionable. But the good news: Paris was really into the simplified silhouette. So simplified that “sack” was a word regularly interchanged for “dress” – some frocks consisted literally of only two pieces, front and back with arm and neck holes. This could easily be made on the mass market or even by the home sewer. Sewing machines were becoming more affordable and most middle class households had them by now. A dress as simple as this could even be hand sewn fairly quickly and easily. It meant that 1920s fashion could be followed by the middle and working classes – quite a revolution.
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.
1940s bathing suits 1948. Hollywood stars Cyd Charisse, Barbara Stanwyck and Jane Greer model the latest in 1940s swimsuits by top brands Jantzen and Mabs of Hollywood Beautiful 1940s Bathing Suit Styles to Inspire Marie McDonald has measurements which Hollywood producers, artists and at least one professor of anatomy and physical anthropology rate ideal. Here she sports a Caltex bathing…
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.
Bobs came in many styles and quite a few lengths. They could be cut slightly longer than jaw length, or as high as the cheekbones with a clipped back. They could be parted at the centre or the side or have no parting, they could have a fringe or none, or if they did the fringe could be many different heights over the forehead, wispy or strong, cut straight across, curved or even as a heart shape. They could also be curled or waved in many different ways.
Why: Hailing from Sao Paulo, Helena Bordon is one of Brazil’s most influential style bloggers. She started her fashion education from a young age courtesy of her mother, Donata Meirelles, the style director of Vogue Brazil. When Helena was just 7 years old, she’d join her mum at all the top fashion shows and eventually interned at Valentino. Now, Helena is co-founder of Brazilian high street fashion chain 284, as well as finding the time to run her eponymous blog, helenabordon.com, which offers Helena’s insider style, travel and beauty tips. Disclaimer: expect holiday envy.