Women who Changed the Face of 1920s Fashion History

by Karen

Women who Changed the Face of 1920s Fashion History

Women’s fashion during the 1920s changed dramatically. Hemlines and hair cuts were shorter for the first time in modern history, and carefree women known as flappers raised eyebrows with their modern ideals. These changing styles and fashion trends were influenced by the iconic celebrities of the time, who gave rise to looks that are now synonymous with 1920s style. Below you can read about the women who changed the face of 1920s fashion history.

Clara Bow

Clara Bow was a stylish starlet during the 1920s and notably became Hollywood’s original “It Girl.” Beautiful and slightly rebellious, she helped define what it meant to be a modern woman the Roaring Twenties. Her films garnered gads of attention from the public, and so too did her active social life. She embraced and embodied the carefree nature of this decade and encouraged other women to rebel against outdated social norms. She was the ultimate flapper, and her style influenced urban girls everywhere who wanted to emulate her exciting and seemingly carefree life. Her dropped waist dresses and short hair were notorious features that paired perfectly with her cupid’s bow pout and sensual attitude. Many women copied her on-trend looks, making her the fashion idol of flappers everywhere.

Louise Brooks

Daring and dramatic, Louise Brooks was another Hollywood starlet that changed the face of 1920s fashion history. Her striking and ultra glamorous appearance quickly became her signature, allowing this silent film star to thrive on screen. She broke from tradition in plenty of ways, but her most notable influence on fashion was certainly her haircut. Louise Brooks made famous the sleek, cropped bob that is ubiquitous with the 1920s. Along with her daring ‘do, she also helped popularize one of the most iconic accessories from the 1920s - the cloche hat. Her ultra-stylish haircut and accessories made her a style icon and gave women everywhere the desire to look the way she did.

Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo positively smoldered on screen in the 1920s. Off screen, her androgynous clothing choices cemented her as a fashion icon during the Art Deco era. The 1920s were a time where Victorian ideals were just beginning to die out, but Greta Garbo wasn’t afraid to wear fashion forward menswear-inspired pieces that were just beginning to walk down the runways of Paris. While her outfits on screen were often much more glamorous, when she was off set she preferred oversized button down shirts, wide legged trousers, and stylish accessories like cloche hats or belted coats. Her looks themselves were slightly masculine but she always maintained a feminine edge. Greta Garbo was one of the first style icons that dared to wear pants in public.

Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker was a famous dancer in Paris during most of the 1920s. As an African American woman during this era, she bravely stepped into the spotlight and gave rise to certain trends that are frequently associated with the Roaring Twenties. As a performer, Josephine Baker had a flair for the dramatic. Her short, slicked hair was often shaped in tight waves, a look that we often associate with flappers during the 1920s. She also was known for piling on the accessories, adorning herself in long strands of pearls, glamorous glittering headpieces, and jewelry that was heavily influenced by the Art Deco movement. This was an era when accessories were everything, and Josephine Baker showed women how to embrace this trend to the fullest.

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