The Influence on 1920s Fashion
Fashion in the 1920s was influenced by several factors. The invention of film and the growing influence of Hollywood stars, alongside a cultural movement that spread across the major parts of the world, causing a thin line to existing between the rich and poor. The cultural movement was an after effect of the First World War. It brought about after-war wealth and a single desire to enjoy freedom among different parts of society.
This cultural movement caused a shift in the fashion choices among ladies during this time. Gone were the days of restrictions for Jane Austin corsets as they welcomed shorter dresses and liberation at a time when the world was ready to accept it.
The different parts of the world where change caused a ripple effect on others were Paris, Berlin, New York, and Washington. In the USA as a whole, the ban of alcohol caused an effect on the response people had; still, there were many underground groups where alcohol was made available in secret.
The 20s was also looked back upon as the jazz age and the roaring 20s. Jazz was a result of the impact on the African American culture, also known as the Harlem Resistance, which had on the world.
Jazz music began its growth from New Orleans after which it spread to Chicago and New York, and then it was passed over to England where it took over the mainstream.
Through the help of powerful Jazz artists like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, jazz music was spread as the music of freedom and liberation.
Another defining factor that also influenced fashion in the 20s was the automobile. The use of cars made ladies more independent. Starting from the 1910s, ladies began to attain a sense of liberation by their use of cars, however, from the 20s, Cabriolets, Horches, Rolls Royce, and Packard cars became the popular vehicles among the independent ladies.
The connection between jazz music and 1920s flapper fashion is undeniable. Due to the economic boom of the 20s, it was easy for consumers to fully incorporate the music and fashion taste into their daily lifestyle. The style of music and the aura it provided created the perfect atmosphere, through which it became easy for there to be a change in the fashion choices.
It was believed that jazz was the first notable influence that music had on fashion and as such, it was seemingly difficult for the fashion industry at the time to satisfy the needs of the lost generation. Jazz eventually had to develop in the 3 stages that were all seen in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. They were:
- The early 20s
Largely influenced by the style of flapper queen Coco Chanel, we had drop-waist dresses and long beaded neckpieces.
- The mid-20s
At this point, jazz music had gained a lot more popularity. Waistlines dropped to the hips and dresses became a lot more loose-fitting as freedom was needed for dancing.
- The late 20s
This was the highlight of the jazz age as dresses began to resemble undergarments of the previous years. They had no waistlines, wide arm allowances and their lengths were approaching the knees.