All posts tagged: 1920s

A 1920s dress kit

A 1920s dress kit

Last week Mr D & I went down to Nelson to celebrate Thanksgiving with his parents (who have adopted it since I moved to NZ, to help me feel at home, because it’s my favourite holiday, and because they are lovely). It’s always wonderful to go down to Nelson, but it was particularly good to get away after the upset in Wellington after the earthquakes.  Ironically, we were going closer to the epicenter, but Nelson has had much less damage than Wellington (they say 11% of the city centre is shut down).  Being there felt like escaping, and just helped reset my equilibrium. My wonderful mother-in-law helped with the escape feel by taking my antique shopping – where I promptly found the most exciting thing I’ve ever found at an op-shop. I was digging through a chest of fabric (nothing interesting) when I noticed something that looked a bit like a fashion plate in a cabinet next to me. Curious, I pulled it out.  It was a pretty 1920s dress, with some odd notes.  And then I …

Fashion Notes from Paris, the Girls Own Annual, 1928,

Fashion Notes from Paris, 1928

I collect Girls Own Annuals, and recently added a delicious 1928 edition to my collection. It came complete with monthly fashion notes – wherein the latest from Paris is described and adapted for daily wear, and little tips on re-making and using bits and bobs are given. This one in particular caught my eye, first, for the fascinating description of hairpieces, and second, for a great example of 1920s historicism: ‘A Poke Bonnet lined with a lace cap, a la the 18th century’.  The Historicism challenge for the Historical Sew Monthly is gone, but I still love historicism! The ideas for using ribbon remnants and bits of fur are a great illustration of how those without Parisian budgets could stay in the mode. I can’t decide if I want the bonnet, the evening frock with fabulous hip drapery, or the amazing pieced blouse most!  Which is your favourite?

Rate the Dress: Jean Patou in 1924

For last week’s Rate the Dress I showed a typical 1930s frock in vivid tangerine orange lace.  Some of you thought that, despite the bright colour, the frock was too standard been-there-done-that 1930s, and gave it a very middling score.  The rest of you either love-love-loved the dress, or really-really didn’t – all of which, not surprisingly, led to a rather mediocre score of 6.6 out of 10. (and well done to Daniel, for being the only one to notice that yes, I’ve been presenting the rainbow for ratings, but having come back around to orange, rather than re-starting with yellow, I’m now heading off in a new themed direction.) This Jean Patou evening dress is both extremely minimalist, in its muted colour palette and simple cut, and extremely maximalist in its elaborate Egyptian inspired beading. While the decorations on the dress are based on Egyptian & Byzantine designs, Patou has carried them out in pastel shades of blush, lilac and gold, subverting our expectations of the inspiration point. The overall effect combines the typical tropes of Western femininity, with a …