All posts tagged: 1920s

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 …

Early 1920s Fringe & Poppies ensemble

The 1921 Fringe (yes, fringe!) and Poppies ensemble

It is a pretty well known fact to readers of this blog that I dislike fringe.  Dislike may be putting it mildly.  I believe the word I usually use is loath. My dislike of fringe stems primarily from all the terrible, awful, horrible ‘1920s’ ‘flapper’ dresses which owe everything to 2nd-half of the 20th century costume designers, and nothing to period originals.  To a lesser extent, I also dislike fringe because of the fringing on some 1860s dresses, where the designers seem to have gone “Woohoo!  Fabric is relatively cheap!  Fringe is relatively cheap!  Dresses are HUGE!  Let’s just throw acres of fringe at the hugeness!” Blech.  Ergh. But, for every rule, there are exceptions.  Vionnet’s famous 1938 scalloped fringed frock gets a pass for being fabulous and amazing.  Shawl fringe is generally attractive as long as it is sympathetic to the overall design of the shawl.  But I’ve never really been tempted to make a garment with fringed trim. And then, while prepping for the Hamilton Garden’s Katherine Mansfield Garden Party, I came across this fashion …