Thursday, 31 January 2013


I found this collection of photographs from the 1920's on Pinterest. I think they sum up the style of the era, the glamour that surrounded it and the glamorous look that the women of the time aimed for. The pictures also show the careless attitide and frivolous lifestyle the women had. Each picture also demostrates how impeccably well the flappers presented themselves, they always had perfect make up and styled hair to enhance their glamorous style.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


1920's style fashion still impacts lots of designer and high street collections, and is very popular amongst celebrities and consumers alike. I think this is because of the glamour of the trend and every girl wants to feel glamorous for some time or event. 
The first two images are an article I scanned in from a River Island magazine I picked up in store. This feature is introducing the new collaboration for River Island with designer William Tempest, intevriewing him about the collection and what inspired him throughout the designing process.
He discusses how his muse for it was Louise Brooks, an icon of the time who I have already talked about on this blog. He talks about his use of 'dropped waists and Twenties references' and how they are updated to be 'more in the present.'

The third image is an article I scanned in from women's fashion magazine GLAMOUR, in their do's and dont's feature. The article is describing 20's fashion or 'Great Gatsby Chic' as a 'do'. The article includes pictures of lots of celebrtities such as Carey Mulligan and Georgia Jagger dressing in flapper style dresses, showing that the style of that era was very fashionable at the time the magazine was published. All of the dresses are made from luxurious fabrics and contain some sort of heavy embellishment, as they did back in the 1920's.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


Flappers were independent women, they made their own decisions in everything from their fashion and beauty choices to their attitudes to life. The flappers were unique and stood out from the other women because of their bold attitudes and behaviours, behaviour which was frowned upon by many. This was due to their wearing of excessive make up, excessive drinking and attitudes to smoking and casual sex.

The typical flapper was usually seen wearing short shapeless dresses, that wear easy to dance and move around in. These were also usually heavily embellished with beading and sequins which made the dresses eye catching and expensive looking. They wanted to be envied and looked at by others and these dresses achieved that.

Dropped waist dresses, which were introduced by Coco Chanel, were also common amongst flapper culture, contrasting to the form fitting high waistlines seen in fashions previous to the 1920's. The silhouette in the 20's drastically changed, to a looser less feminine style.

The fur coat was another wardrobe staple for the flapper girl, which she would layer over any outfit, day or night and would further enhance the glamour that they were all about.

Beauty wise, the flappers had short bobbed hairstyles, which could sometimes be curled to achieve a glamorous look. For make-up they wore a lot more than had ever been seen before this time, with red lipstick, dark eyeliner and mascara and bold eyeshadows.

Accessories were also very important to the typical flapper. There would rarely be a flapper seen with a cloche hat on their head. This was a piece that originated in the 20's and is still seen today as a symbol of that era. Cloches would usually be worn as daywear, however, in the evening on more glamorous occasions, sparkly, embellished headpieces or headbands would be worn.

Lace-up flats were the go to casual shoe for a flapper for walking around during the daytime, on an evening they opted for Mary Jane style pumps which were appropriate for all the dancing they used to do.



During the 1920's the was a vast celebrity culture, ranging from actors and actresses, to sports stars, to writers. The 20's however were the era of the woman celebrity, in a previously patriarchal society, this was the time when people started paying attention to women and they became public icons. Some examples of strong females to emerge at this time are the women below.

American Louise Brooks became popular when she started appearing in silent movies in 1925. She was also a dancer, model and showgirl but is most well known for her role in 1929 German film Pandora's Box in which she played the lead female character 'Lulu'. Although this is seen as a 'landmark of the silent movie era' now, at the time it was released it gain little recognition. She is also know for her 'flapper' style, being one of the first to brandish the bob, a style which became her trademark along with her sleek black hair colour and fair, freckled skin.

Josephine Baker was an American dancer, singer and actress. She found fame in Paris where she performed 'no holds barred' dance routines on stages across the city, in particular when she performed the Danse Sauvage with dance partner Joe Alex. This routine was seen as new exotic and exciting at the time, and turned Josephine, who was dressed in only a feather skirt, into an overnight sensation. When she starred in La Folie du Jou, her costume consisting of 16 bananas formed into a skirt combined with her jaw dropping performance firmly cemented her status as a celebrity. By 1927, she was earning more than any other entertainer in Europe. Although she was a big star in Europe, she failed at trying to break American on multiple occasions, with the audience there rejecting the idea of a black woman with so much power. She didn't become famous there until 1973, 2 years before her death.

images from

Greta Garbo, was a Swedish film icon during Hollywoods's silent movie era. She was brought to Hollywood by Louis B. Mayer, CEO of MGM studios, in 1925 after appearing in Swedish movie The Saga of Gosta Berling. Her first silent movie, Torrent, was released a year later and immediately a buzz was created around her. Her performance, however, in Flesh and the Devil, 1927, cemented her position as an international film star.

Zelda Fitzgerald (Sayre) - wife of F.Scott Fitzgerald author of The Great Gatsby. Their partnership was seen to epitomise the jazz age as did her personal style. Her husband dubbed her 'the first American flapper' as she paved the way with her 'bobbed hair, shorts skirts and unapologetic drinking' working her way into the highest social circles of many cities. 

All of these figures, in some way, had an effect on the public at the time. They were iconic because they each did something that nobody had done before, they pushed boundaries for women, whether that be through their fashion and beauty choices or the career roles. I think the 1920's was a key era for women's freedom and rights, fashion choices were braver, and theses four figures were at the forefront as poster girls for the movements.