1920s fashion makes a roaring return


Kirsten Wiltjer

Kirsten Wiltjer took inspiration from 1920s era fashion for this week’s column. Credit: Kirsten Wiltjer/The Foothill Dragon Press.

The critically acclaimed film, “The Artist,” hit theaters in November and has already started to bring the 1920s fashion from the movie screen to present-day red carpets.

My favorite decade of American fashion is the ‘20s. The bobbed haircuts, sequined dresses, fur coats and the gorgeous slim hats make it the most glamorous of all fashion eras.

Women became powerful figures with a new, boyish style; they gave off vibes of unique ease and fun that were reflective of the decade.

After seeing the film, I was inspired to take a modern approach to the trends. These styles don’t necessarily need to be changed that much; with a few alterations, they can easily be worn today.

The simple elegance of the dresses donned by females in the 1920s are timeless. The use of fabrics like silk, cotton and sequined embellishments, made dresses versatile for every occasion.

These fabrics can be seen in the film through the transformation of Peppy Miller, the main female character. Her appearance drastically changes as she gains fame and wealth: at the beginning she wears simple cotton and silk dresses, but by the end, her look has completely transformed into glittering and sequined outfits.

Many of the hats from the film don’t fit in with present-day fashion, but much of Miller’s jewelry, gloves and shoes can be replicated.

I found two 1920s-style dresses from my favorite online store, ASOS.

The first is a thick blue t-shirt dress with lace-patterned sleeves and an attached belt that is reminiscent of Daisy Buchanan’s fashion in the novel “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The second is classic Peppy Miller: a black embellished dress with the signature waistband down below the hips.

Both these garments are ’20s-inspired pieces that have become popular in our era of Ugg boots and Victoria’s Secret sweat pants. Unlike the latter items, the clothing from the 1920s has simple class and beauty. Less is more when it comes to the attire worn by women in that era.

Midnight in Paris,” released last May, is another film set in the ‘20s. Additionally, a remake of “The Great Gatsby,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan, is set for release Christmas of this year, and has already garnered attention and intrigue.

Even though my fashion column focuses mainly on women’s fashion, the 1920s had such a huge influence on menswear that it needed to be included.

Popular names in men’s 1920s fashion are F. Scott Fitzgerald and his book characters, Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan.

The Artist” is based on the art of silent films and the king of silence, George Valentin. His suits and tuxedos, whether at the premiere of his films or on the streets of desperation, were always stylish and elegant.

The double-breasted vests, fedora hats and narrow cuffed legged pants were all critical pieces to the look.

Unlike women’s trends, the slim and fitted suits of the ‘20s have held strong since and have not strayed from men’s fashion.

The 1920s have made a spectacular return with many of today’s films revolving around the era and its classic looks. Instead of wearing one of today’s typical styles, create a unique look and try to incorporate elements of the glamorous ‘20s era.

What do you think?