Ever since I was a little girl, I loved the beaded, dropped-waist dresses of the roaring 20′s, so you can imagine how incredibly excited I was to hear that Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby is coming to theatres! Catherine Martin, known for her amazing work on Moulin Rouge, Strictly Ballroom and Romeo and Juliet is doing the costumes again (LOVE her) and whether or not they are true to period doesn’t matter to me. Why not? Because this means that this fall’s fashion line-up will be FILLED with amazing flapper-style dresses!
The 1920′s fashions owed quite a bit to Coco Chanel, whose boyish, corsette-less shapes were introduced into fashion as her empire grew. Styles became looser, easier to move and dance in and fashion also became accessible to the non-wealthy as it simplified. Flat chests, bared arms, dropped waists and shorter skirts were all about freedom of movement as well as a celebration of youth and rebellion. The images of flappers dancing in 1920′s Paris couldn’t have happened with the cumbersome dresses of the previous eras.
Women cut their hair short and wore pants for the first time, which opened them up to engage in sports and other previously thought of as ‘masculine’ activities. Chunky heels and our beloved wedges also allowed for more movement. Women stayed out later, drank and smoked in public, applied makeup publicly and became public staples in general. The 1920′s was a true democratization in fashion, freeing women from hours of dressing and allowing for women of most social classes to participate in trends.
Alas, after doing a few hours of research on where to find amazing flapper-style dresses and drop-waist 20′s styled pieces, I came up dismally short. Unless you have your vintage connections or are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a designer piece, these dresses are hard to find. So…Catherine and Baz…bring on the Great Gatsby in whatever format you’d like. I can’t wait!
p.s. if you want to get as excited as I am about the movie, check out the trailer here