The 1920s was the height of Old Hollywood glamour. Think Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, and more. These ladies wrote the book on what it meant to wear silk to bed, drip in diamonds on a Monday afternoon, and prove to the boys that you can still be a woman and wear a tailored pair of trousers. They were the fashion lovers and exquisite dressers but were also rule-breakers. And for that, they reached an icon status so high that we still look to them for style inspiration even when we don’t know we’re doing it.
As we celebrate the sporty trends of the ’80s, the new shapes of the ’70s, and the whimsical prints of the ’60s, let’s ride the time machine a little further back toward the beginning of last century and remind the world how the fashion icons of the 1920s truly started it all when it came to modern fashion. Those tweed jackets? Most notably beloved by Coco Chanel. Your embellished dresses? Zelda Fitzgerald was one of the favorites. And we can’t forget about true silk gowns and looks dripping in jewels, which were championed by Joan Crawford.
Though we might be showing a little more skin these days and pushing the boundaries of our own generation’s dressing in ways that were simply unheard of in the ’20s, these women are still the OGs in our book. These are the six fashion icons from the 1920s you need to know.
Perhaps one of the most established chameleons of her generation, this stylish actress was known for her ability to change her vibe on a dime. She looked just as stunning in a tuxedo as she did in a ball gown and was one of the first to dip her toe in the more traditionally masculine fashion trends.
Ganni Sequined Tulle Mini Dress ($565)
Keepsake Ariel Faux Fur Coat ($250)
Sam Edelman Ayla Pumps ($120)
A dancer and actress, she was definitely the one to watch when it came to opulence. Her style was pretty much exactly what you think of when you conjure up images of Old Hollywood glamour at the beginning of the 1900s.
Needle & Thread Prarie Flora Gown ($570)
Birger Christensen Halyn Pussy-Bow Silk-Satin Blouse ($320)
Ben-Amun Embellished Chandelier Earrings ($260)
Building her brand for more relatable and comfortable yet equally tailored and chic looks for the women of her generation, this fashion designer’s house now tops the list of international fashion. As it has adapted to modern times, it still retains her original elegant inspiration.
Chanel Leather Handbag ($2297)
Gucci Gold-Tone Crystal Brooch ($470)
Loeffler Randall Simone Flats ($325)
If you’re on the hunt for inspiration when it comes to unique flapper fashion moments in the ’20s, look no further than this socialite. As she was the wife to F. Scott, her life was a rotating band of parties, events, and after-hours celebrations.
Endless Rose Polka-Dot Dress ($80)
By Malene Birger Zelma Fringed Fishnet Slim-Leg Pants ($395)
Of the timeless French fashion houses, this designer was a champion of youthful styles, whimsical colors, and looks that allowed women more freedom, both physically as well as emotionally. Her iconic house still retains the same appeal even to younger generations.
Vince Camuto Twist Detail Hammered Satin Blouse ($99)
Joseph Gaby Pleated Wool-Blend Midi Skirt ($355)
A singer and dancer, she was one of the more vocal members of the Civil Rights Movement, most notably refusing to perform for segregated audiences. She dressed like Beyoncé more than half a century before Queen Bey even entered the scene. And for that, she makes the list of OG fashion icons for eternity.
Michael Lo Sordo Silk-Satin Gown ($740)
Lionette by Noa Sade Tamara Fringe Earrings ($280)
Interesting in learning more about 1920s fashion? This is the ideal wardrobe, according to Chanel.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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