1920s fashion: 11 icons who still influence our style today
The 1920s were defined by a culture of indulgence – think Jay Gatsby's wild parties in 4D, and you're about halfway there. That quintessential ‘Roaring 20s’ celebratory spirit was all about excitement and a feeling of novelty that arose following a burst of unprecedented economic growth. Technological advancements brought the radio and motion pictures to the fore, which, in turn, allowed a new assortment of models, dancers, singers and actresses to prosper and inspire.
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Naturally, not everyone sustained affluent lifestyles, but those who were rich enough to partake absolutely made the most of the truly dynamic decade.
Who influenced our fashion in the 1920s?
The flapper look was all the rage among young women across Europe and the USA, consisting of 'short' skirts –hems that rested at knee level – bob hairstyles and slinky slip-style dresses. Across the pond, growing contempt for Prohibition meant that speakeasies (illicit drinking clubs) were rife, as were wild dance crazes such as the Charleston.
Not a Strictly fan? All you need to know is that the vigorous, energetic steps lent themselves to utterly decadent outfits, adorned with feathers, beads, fringing and sparkly embellishments – demonstrated perfectly by dancer Josephine Baker's glitzy costumes.
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On the screen, actresses Greta Garbo and Anna May Wong were known for their truly showstopping accessories, but when it came to the emergence of the androgynous look, aka La Garconne, Louise Brooks paved the way. With her ultra-shiny boyish crop and sharply tailored suits, she had a huge impact on the fashion of the age.
Hello! Fashion shares the style icons who changed the face of 1920s fashion:
Dancer Josephine Baker led an incredible life but was renowned for her quirky, flamboyant costumes
Actress Clara Bow successfully navigated the transition from silent films to the 'talkies', photographed by Eugene Robert Richee
Photographed in 1929 by Edwin Bower Hesser, actress Carole Lombard sports tight finger waves
Actress Jean Harlow sports a collared shirt and high-waisted wide-leg trousers
Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel, here photographed by George Rinhart, first introduced her tweed suit in 1923
German actress Marlene Dietrich was heralded for her roles in silent films and the following decade was known for rocking tuxedos
Swedish Actress Greta Garbo poses in leather gloves and a sleek jacket on the set of her 1927 film Love
Known for her platinum curls and forward-thinking playwriting, Mae West's effervescent spirit defined the decade
Anna May Wong
Anna May Wong, considered the first Chinese-American Hollywood movie star, is the ultimate cropped bangs hair inspiration
Actress Louise Brooks' glossy blunt 1920s bob will go down in hairstory
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