CR is calling it now… the roaring ’20s have arrived. Despite being one year late, an era of indulgence and glamour is only going to further develop across the next decade — eventually remembered as our world’s post-pandemic glory. How better to commemorate an emerging epoch than by looking the part?
Though a tumultuous period that ended is disarray, the 1920s were infamously a dreamland of fashion decadence. Excessive glitz and embellishment paired with freeing, modern silhouettes. Coco Chanel radically transformed womenswear through her introduction of the LBD, Jeanne Lanvin built her revolutionary fashion empire, and a wave of silent film stars became style curators whose relevance remains one century later.
But in lieu of flappers we have influencers, underground “pandemic parties” replaced Prohibition speakeasies, and COVID-19 swapped out the Spanish Flu. Hopefully another Great Depression is not waiting for us at the end of our roaring ’20s. And along with 21st century versions of historical events, fashion has developed its own parallels to be sported.
Browse through CR’s roaring ’20s trend musings below.
Underwear as outerwear had a mini-moment in the 1920s before an utter explosion in later decades. Specifically, silk slip dresses became a style staple. From burlesque dancers and flappers to the party-goers of Gatsby’s fictional mansion, a new and far less conservative version of dress became the norm.
Slip dress designs of today have not evolved far beyond their ’20s counterparts, though hem lines have risen and necklines have slightly dropped. Saint Laurent incorporated animal print for their Resort 2021 slips, while Fendi and Chanel elevated the undergarment into elegant evening wear with a midi cut.
Detailing that has never quite gone out of style, fur trim adds a luxurious element to all outerwear and knit pieces. European women took the form of embellishment to new heights during the ’20s, rarely dressed in coats sans fur trim. Why? Status symbol and obvious wealth connotations.
Recently relevant through social media’s avant basic trend, the design is more pervasive than ever. Modern applications are variant, seen on coats, blazers, cardigans, and more. Balmain implemented the trend with harsher angles on a neckline in their Fall/Winter 2021 collection, while Saint Laurent preserved the soft and rounded approach during Fall/Winter and Pre-Fall 2021.
Primarily pertinent due to their centric presence in burlesque, feathers were all the rage during the ’20s. Fans, skirts, and even wings were designed with the animal fiber. Though their popularity rapidly declined after this era, feathers became a keystone of the flapper look. A single strand would ornate their signature headbands, the ideal accessory for boyish haircuts of the time.
Today, the feather look can be a fun addition to any piece. Saint Laurent played around with feather sleeves and hem lines throughout their ready-to-wear for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter 2021, while Lanvin made the fibers each blouse’s main event across their Fall/Winter collection this year.
Easily categorized as the epitome of roaring ’20s aesthetics, glitzy headpieces of the era’s nightlife are simply to die for. Cloche hats were worn by day, but as soon as the sun went down — beautifully intricate headwear became the cherry on top of every look. Cleopatra, who? The trend actually rose to fruition after a rampant search for King Tut’s tomb during the period, resulting in every woman’s desire to embody an Egyptian queen.
Paco Rabanne is singlehandedly reviving the decadent headpieces of last century, including them in both of his Spring/Summer collections over the past two years. Anne Hathaway even donned one of his beautiful headdress designs on the cover of CR Fashion Book China’s second issue.
Pearls are certainly not exclusively a roaring ’20s trend, yet their classic elegance was a steadfast staple of the era. Long strands and excessive layering of the necklace style never quite stopped being à la mode, though iterations and lengths have varied over the years.
Just as hemlines shrunk, so did the span of pearl necklaces. 2021’s version is all about the choker. Keep it short, and maybe add a charm or some additional beads. Vivienne Westwood‘s pearl chokers were incredibly sought-after at the end of 2020, and new-age designers such as Mudd Pearl have entered the trend with innovative structures.
Excess. You can’t have the roaring ’20s without it. Minimalism had no place in the era, seen by the rapid rush of consumerism that resulted in a crippling ’30s depression. “Nouveau riche” classes frantically attempted to flaunt their recently acquired wealth by throwing lavish soirées and wearing anything with sparkle. Fancy looks had to be donned at every hour of the day.
Let’s ignore the decay beneath 1920s opulence and utilize finally being able to leave the house as an opportunity resurrect maximalism. Metallic tones, fringe, glitter details, and just about anything that is a bit extra. Dior and Fendi were no strangers to ornate designs throughout their Spring/Summer couture collections in recent years, while Balmain produced a Pre-Fall 2021 collection of a similar nature.
Art Deco Geometric Details
Visible through graphic prints and beaded detailing, art deco geometric designs took over the ’20s fashion scene. Sonia Delaunay‘s ornamental renderings of the style were widely popularized in the fine art and clothing spheres alike, as were the art deco illustrations still visible in Miami and New York architecture. Every facet of creative expression was attracted to the trend.
Finding art deco prints in the 21st century is nearly as effortless as during its prime. Paco Rabanne’s recent Spring/Summer 2022 collection was bursting with prints reminiscent of Delaunay’s impression, while Balmain’s PB monogram has a similar appearance as well.
Anti-hourglass silhouettes are not exactly 2021 friendly… but give drop waist a shot. Instant elegance is added to any dress of the shape, ever since Chanel’s popularization of the style with her LBD. Faux drop waists were sewn into evening gowns, while low-hanging belts were added to midi skirts. In later years, the waistline went away altogether.
Though a Kardashian may never be spotted in the look, drop waist pieces have been experiencing quite the moment in recent runway collections. Balmain featured the silhouette in their evening wear for Pre-Fall 2021, while Lanvin did an innovative version for Fall/Winter 2021. Chanel has even resurrected their early signature, as seen through a belted style in their Spring/Summer 2020 runway.
Side profiles must be coated in blush for a proper 1920s makeup look to be effective. Rouge lined the temples and full cheekbones of every flapper and film icon during the era, along with a bold lip and arched brow. One must appear flush at all times.
Valentino recently entered the beauty space with their signature hue in tow. No better way to attain the rosy look than by employing the ultimate shade of rouge — Valentino red.
To complete your new age 1920s look, soft flapper waves are essential. An archetype of the period, the dynamic hairstyle was a favorite of nearly every silent film star. Paired with a cigarette holder and feather headband, of course.
21st century recreations have not yet been widely incorporated into daily life, but TikTok beauty gurus such as Erin Parsons have released guides for achieving the look. Just some vintage hair clips plus a bit of gel, and you’ll be Anita Page in no time.END
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