SHANGHAI-LEKSIKON
Western women's fashion in the 1920s

The fashion ideal of the 1920s was most suited for young, very slender women. The kneelength dress was nearly tube shaped and mostly obscured waist and bust. The matching shoes were similarly light and simple, but the hat could be more daring, eg. with a large feather or shaped like some form of turban. The simple cloche was dominant for many years, however. A variant form of women's fashion was to dress in modified men's wear.

 

Two fashionable young women in London in the mid-20s.

 

For the lucky few could wear the narrow dresses, it was a fashion that afforded a greater range of movement than women's clothes had allowed for centuries.

Through the introduction of the gramophon, jazz and other dance music conquered the world in the 1920s and weekly magazines and (silent) movies taught people how to look and act. The magazines advertised new fashion and they printed dress patterns to let you sew something similar yourself if you couldn't afford the real thing or lived away from major urban centers.

The development in fashion was closely tied to the development in industrial society that had reached a stage where everybody was included in its organization of labor and where mass produced goods dominated consumption. As was the case for other consumer goods, industrial methods of production ensured a high degree of homogeneity in the development of fashion, not just in invidual countries, but across the western world. This triggered competition between creators and thus a battle for the favor of the consumers. Fashion became an important and very dynamic measure of competition, which took place despite shifting economic conditions.

Mass production also caused an increase in purchasing power, allowing more the surplus needed to be fashion conscious. The consumer society we know today was well under way.

 


  


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Coco's brilliant creations
Simple, clean, elegant. These are the keywords for Coco Chanel's brilliant fashion that all women think is to die for. At least they should.

Because in a Chanel every woman is assured the attention she deserves, along with the freedom of movement demanded by the modern day. As Coco herself says it: ”A girl should be two things: Classy and fabulous.”

We take a look at three of Chanel's newest models – all are spot on.

 

Evening dress inspired by Chinese folding screens

The long, loose shape gives the girls a boyish look. The gorgeous metallic lace improidery and sequins gives the boyish shape a sense of elegance. The dress is even sleeveless and knee length! It's daring. It's new. It's CHANEL!

 

Japanese inspired evening coat

Once again silk and metallic thread has been used to give the coat a majestic look. Coco has drawn inspiration from Japanese kimonos to create this masterpiece.

 

”The little black dress” - simple and elegant

This outfit is a variation on Coco's famous ”little black”, adapted for the needs of everyday use. Due to a slightly sporting look of jersey and skirt with a small belt it is easier to move in. The stitches are inspired by riding wear and male fashion. It's simple but elegant. It's modern.