If you took any courses in classic American literature in high school, you likely had the opportunity to read “The Great Gatsby.” Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald and first published in 1925, the novel is set on Long Island’s North Shore in 1922, right in the midst of the Roaring Twenties (1919-1929).
This era of enthusiastic unrest may be gone, but it’s certainly not been forgotten. References to the iconic styles of the ‘20s were plentiful on spring 2012 runways from New York to London and Paris to Milan.
Models in loose sleeveless dresses with drop waists floated through many designers’ collections. Others in strappy flapper-esque gowns with fringed hems, art deco-inspired beading, even feathers, evoked the pre-Depression excesses of the age. There were lush silk fabrics and seductively curved heels on elegant shoes. And it’s all equally at home strolling through verdant gardens or dancing the Charleston on a glittering dance floor.
The ‘20s were also evident in the delicate pastel color palette utilized by many designers, including Ralph Lauren. Pale blues and yellows, aqua and lavender, mint green and light neutrals such as ivory, pale sand and dove gray were abundant.
While many of the day-friendly ‘20s inspired looks were ladylike and demure, the evening attire that strutted the runways was decidedly sexy. At Gucci, flashes of bare skin were strategically revealed through the use of organza panels worked into the garment’s construction. Sequins were used everywhere.
If you’re waif thin or boyish in figure, these ‘20s fashions were made for you. Your frame was the ideal in the Roaring Twenties, so much so that voluptuous women often bound their breasts in order to fit the fashions of the moment. Choose the flashiest, most exuberant dress you can find and drag a date to the nearest jazz club.
If you happen to be a well-endowed gal, you may want to stay away from shapeless shifts and flapper dresses and channel the elegance of the era through embellishment and accessories instead. Consider fabulous art deco-inspired chandelier earrings and glittering bangles. Add a cloche hat, de rigueur in the ‘20s, to complete your look.