The brightest representative of vintage styles are those revolutionary 20th century fashion movements

1920s Art Deco in 20th Century Fashion

Let's start from the very beginning: Art Deco movement started in 1920s and lasted until the outbreak of WWII in 1939.

How Art Deco can be described? It's characterised as geometric, very contrast. Art Deco made use of many distinctive styles, but one of the most significant of its features was a range of ornaments and motifs.

Art Deco fashion descriptions:

  • Masculine forms &mdash minimal breasts, hips, short hair cuts;
  • Short hemlines (mid calf to just above the knee);
  • The cloche and turban hats together with curly, smooth short hair;
  • Fringed 'Charleston' dress;
  • Geometric, angular shapes and designs.


1920 Flapper girls in 20th Century Fashion

Flappers in the 1920s referred to a "new breed" of young women who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior.

Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms.

Flapper fashion descriptions:

  • Rolled down stockings
  • Miniskirts
  • Cloche hats
  • long cigarettes and cigars


1940s &mdash 1950s New Look in 20th Century Fashion

The New Look began in 1947 when Dior launched his first fashion collection for Spring-Summer 1947. The new collection went down in fashion history as the "New Look" after Harper's Bazaar's editor-in-chief Carmel Snow's exclamation, "It's such a New Look!"

The signature shape was characterized by a below-mid-calf length, full-skirt, large bust, and small waist.

Over time the New Look became revolutionary and strongly popular, influencing 20th century fashion for many years to come.

New Look descriptions:

  • below-mid-calf length
  • multi-layered, puff full-skirt
  • large bust
  • puff sleeves
  • small waist
  • cartoony look


London Mod in 20th Century Fashion

originally modernist is a subculture that was born in London in the late 1950s and peaked in the early to mid 1960s.

Significant elements of the mod subculture include: fashion (often tailor-made suits); pop music, including African American soul, Jamaican ska, and British beat music and R&B; and Italian motor scooters. The original mod scene was also associated with amphetamine-fueled all-night dancing at clubs.

From the mid to late 1960s onwards, the mass media often used the term mod in a wider sense to describe anything that was believed to be popular, fashionable or modern.

Female mods dressed androgynously, with short haircuts, men's trousers or shirts (sometimes their boyfriend's), flat shoes, and little makeup — often just pale foundation, brown eye shadow, white or pale lipstick and false eyelashes.

Female mods pushed the boundaries of parental tolerance with their miniskirts, which got progressively shorter between the early and mid-1960s. As female mod fashion went from an underground style to a more commercialized fashion, slender models like Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy began to exemplify the high-fashion mod look.

The television programme Ready Steady Go!, presented by Cathy McGowan, helped to spread awareness of mod fashions and music to a larger audience.


Teddy boys in 20th Century Fashion

The British Teddy Boy subculture is represented by young men wearing clothes inspired by the styles of the Edwardian period, which Savile Row tailors. The group got its name after a 1953 newspaper headline shortened Edward to Teddy and coined the term Teddy Boy (also known as Ted).

The subculture started in London in the 1950s and rapidly spread across the UK, soon becoming strongly associated with American rock and roll music. Teddy Boys made it acceptable for young people to care about what they looked like and to dress for show instead of having work or school clothes and Sunday-best. Teddy Boy clothing was drape jackets, usually in dark shades, sometimes with velvet trim collar and pocket flaps; high-waist "drainpipe" trousers, often showing brightly coloured socks. Favoured footwear was chunky brogues, large crepe-soled shoes, often suede (known as brothel creepers), or pointed boots known as winkle pickers. Plus a high-necked loose collar on a white shirt (known as a Mr B. collar); a narrow Slim Jim tie, and a brocade waistcoat. The clothes were mostly tailor-made at great expense.

Preferred hairstyles included long, strongly-moulded greased-up hair with a quiff at the front and the side combed back to form a duck's arse at the rear. Another style was the Boston, in which the hair was greased straight back and cut square across at the nape.

Teddy Girls in 20th Century Fashion

Teddy girls wore drape jackets, hobble skirts, long plaits, straw boater hats, cameo brooches, espadrilles and coolie hats. Later they adopted the American fashions of toreador pants, voluminous circle skirts, and hair in ponytails.


The Swing Kids in 20th Century Fashion

(German: Swingjugend) were a group of jazz and Swing lovers in Germany of the 1930s, mainly in Hamburg (St. Pauli) and Berlin. They were 14- to 18-year old boys and girls in high school, most of them middle- or upper-class students. They sought the British and American way of life, defining themselves in Swing music, and opposing the National-Socialist ideology, especially the Hitlerjugend.

The Swing Kids dressed a little differently. For example, boys added a little British flair to their clothes by homburg hats, growing their hair long, and attaching a Union Jack pin to their jacket. Girls wore short skirts, applied lipstick and fingernail polish, and wore their hair long and down instead of applying braids or German-style rolls.

Stilyagi in 20th Century Fashion

(Russian: стиляги, the plural of "стиляга", stilyaga; lit. "stylish", "style hunter") was a subculture that existed from the late 1940s until the early 1960s in the Soviet Union.

Stilyagi were primarily distinguished by their snappy or fashionable clothing, considered politically incorrect and contrasting the communist-socialist realities, and fascination with Western music and fashions, therefore English writings on Soviet culture variously translated the term as "dandy," "fashionistas", beatniks, hipsters, zoot suiters, etc.

At the dawn of the phenomenon, the look of stilyagi were rather a caricature, inspired by Western movies of several decades. It resembled zoot suit, but was combined of bright different colors. Later, in late fifties the look evolved into more elegant and stylish. Typical stilyagi's wearing included narrow pants, long jackets, narrow tie, bright color shirts and thick soled shoes.


Hippie fashion in 20th Century Fashion

So the clothing could not really be described as fashion, because it was meant to be an expression of the person and the times. However, there were definitely certain recognizable styles that made a big impact on the fashion world.

As such, hippie clothing was often loose and made of natural fibers like cotton and hemp. Men and women grew their hair long and eschewed products and fussy styling . The black turtlenecks and trousers worn by the Beatniks, male and female, morphed into peasant blouses and jeans.

Anything one made oneself, whether sewn, knit or woven as macramé, was prized. Gradually, this extended towards dyeing one’s own clothes and the colorful tie-dye became popular.

Hip hugger bell-bottom jeans, preferably with fringe at the ankle and flower patches, were seen everywhere. Peasant blouses or T-shirts or just a skimpy halter top all went well with jeans. Accessories were anything handmade and many included peace symbols as the Vietnam War escalated.

Flowers were very emblematic of the hippie movement. Floral patterns were popular on tops and dresses and flower patches adorned skirts and jeans. Real flowers were worn in the hair and flower images were painted on the face. Hippies argued that in the face of some ugliness in the world, it was important to display as much natural beauty as possible.


Punk fashion in 20th Century Fashion

Punk fashion varies widely, ranging from Vivienne Westwood designs to styles modeled on bands like The Exploited. Many well-established fashion designers — such as Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier — have used punk elements in their production. Punk clothing, which was initially handmade, became mass produced and sold in record stores and some smaller specialty clothing stores by the 1980s. Many fashion magazines and other glamor-oriented media have featured classic punk hairstyles and punk-influenced clothing. These have caused controversy, as many punks view it as having sold out.

Some punks bought T-shirts or plaid flannel shirts and wrote political slogans, band names or other punk-related phrases on them with marker pens. While this was not without precedent in the 1970s, the depth and detail of these slogans were not fully developed until the 1980s. Silkscreened T-shirts with band logos or other punk-related logos or slogans were also popular. Therefore Punks had a great influence on 20th Century Fashion.

Studded, painted and otherwise customised leather jackets or denim vests became more popular during this era, as the popularity of the earlier customized blazers waned. Hair was either shaved, spiked or in a crew cut or Mohawk hairstyle. Tall mohawks and spiked hair, either bleached or in bright colors, took on a more extreme character than in the 1970s. Charged hair, in which all of one's hair stands on end but is not styled into distinct spikes, also emerged.

A hairstyle similar to The Misfits' devilocks was popular, especially amongst female punks. This involved shaving the entire head except for a tuft at the front. Body piercings and extensive tattoos became very popular during this era, as did spike bands and studded chokers.

Did You, Your Parents, or Grandparents Have Remarkable Glamorous Times During the Last Century?

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