Winters Past

20th Century Fashion from Deco to Disco

The Flapper Era, Again

Last night, I watched the 1990 Coen brothers film Millers Crossing. It’s a Prohibition-era gangster movie set in the 1920’s as viewed through the lens of the late 80’s. The actress Marcia Gay Harden plays Verna, the love interest of two characters. She captures the feel and style of the era while looking natural and not stage-y.

I’ve been thinking about 20’s fashion lately, as I’ve come across some wonderful pieces of jewelry as well as clothing of that era. “Flapper” fashion was a radical departure from the stiff Edwardian styles that preceded it, and epitomized youth in it’s time. It still has a modern and fresh feel. Have a look:

Twenties fashion

Bobbed hair

Twenties fashion

The best actor award goes to this green dress

Twenties fashion

The lace, the long jet necklace

Marcia Gay Harden in Millers Crossing

And those green jewels

Here are some touchpoint of twenties style that are nicely reinterpreted in this film:

The clothes:

  • Long, lean straight silhouettes, shift style dresses.
  • Dropped waistlines.
  • Handkerchief hems or assymetrical hems.
  • Sheer dresses worn over slip liners.
  • Elaborate beading or fringe.
  • Asian and Egyptian motifs.
  • Kimonos.

The accessories:

  • Multiple strands of long beads or pearls.
  • Curved, louis heels, mary janes, T straps. Buckles or other ornaments.
  • Cloche hats
  • Feathered headbands
  • Fancy, bejeweled hair combs
  • Long cigarette holders.
  • Tiny beaded evening bags.

The hair and makeup:

  • Short, bobbed hair, either straight with bangs or finger waved.
  • Longer hair was still worn, but was pulled back and tucked under to mimic the bobbed style.
  • Dark, smoky eyes. Kohl liner upper and lower lids.
  • Cupid Bow lips in deep reds or plum shades.

Author: Winters Past

I am a vintage clothing shop owner living and working in rural north Florida. I believe in adding a little vinegar and molasses to my greens, having my coffee outside whenever possible, and mixing something vintage into every room and every outfit.

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