I often wonder why The Roaring Twenties or années folles (Crazy Times) as the French called it was given that name. I assume it was because of the social and artistic changes that roared in like a mighty wind as the decade dawned. The 1920s was ‘The Jazz Age,’ the decade of Art Deco and surrealistic painting. More than that, it was the decade when women were at last given the right to vote. Not a small part of these exciting changes was a show of women’s legs in public for the first time in centuries. In keeping with the fashion revolution that swept throughout every strata of society, those lovely long Victorian tresses were cut off in favor of short hairstyles. With all former restrictions thrown to the wind, the 1920s marks the beginning of the modern fashion era.
|Joan Crawford in hostess pants|
1920s fashion highlights
The cloche hat
A boyish, flat chested look
The shapeless chemise
Short hairstyles (the bob, the Eton crop and the Marcel wave)
Knit sportswear, Separates
The handkerchief hem, Trousers
|Louise Brooks in cloche hat|
1920s fashion iconsSeveral famous designers emerged during the 1920s, Coco Channel, Jean Patou, Jeanne Lanvin and Elsa Schiaparelli to name a few. Because of their huge influence on the fashion of the time, and on the lifestyles of women as a result, Coco Channel and Jean Patou deserve special mention. Channel was one of the first women to toss her corset out the window. She was also among the first to bob her hair, and wear trousers. She popularized jersey knit clothing and elevated costume jewelry to heights never seen before. Jean Patou, like Channel, designed the sportswear that would free women of constricting clothes forever. His designs, created to satisfy the new trend toward the outdoor activities, were the blend of luxury and practicality that would mark the style of one of fashion's most exciting eras.
Photos: Wikimedia Commons
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