20th Century Fashion Resources
by Lanajean Vecchione


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Elegant Thirties
Hour-glass figures and longer hairstyles were back by demand from glamorous starlets. Body hugging bias cuts, discovered by Vionnet, were clinging to busts and hips with mid-calf or floor length hemlines. Backs and shoulders were bared and covered with fur stoles. Notable designers included Adrian, Schiparelli, Chanel, Mainbocher and Maggy Rouff.


Web Sites | Books | Videos


Web Sites about 1930s Fashions and Culture

    RETRO: The Tip Tray

      This wonderful web site has features on several eras of fashion. This short article by Malvina deVries shows how thirties ladies waved their hair, including detailed instructions to recreate the look at home.

    Ladies Fashions of the 1930s

      This essay does a fine job of describing the 1930s look including design details, influences from movies, the use of fur, and information on men's fashions.

    1920s-1930s Freeware Clip Art on Fashion
    http://www.costumes.org/pages/1920s clip art

      Another page linked from the same site, this is nothing but free images of flapper hair, lingerie, and hosiery and other finery. Most of this comes off a CD ROM clip art disc, but it makes things easier to have the images pre-selected and ready to download for school or personal use.


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Books About 1930s Fashions and Culture

    Everyday Fashions of the Thirties As...

      For this historically accurate sampling of authentic 1930's fashion, Stella Blum, former Curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, selected for reproduction 133 representative pages from rare Sears catalogs of the period (1933-1939). Hundreds of illustrations record what men, women, and children were actually wearing in the '30s when, as a copy line from the fall 1930 catalog proclaimed, "Thrift is the spirit of the day. Reckless spending is a thing of the past".

    Fashion in the Twenties and Thirties
    by Jane Dorner

      This is an excellent source that shows the looks of each decade with photographs and captions. This 1973 book has rare illustrations and shows quirky items like early sportswear, wedding attire, and undergarments.

    Fashion Sourcebooks: The 1930s
    by John Peacock

      This thin volume is loaded with illustrations and a great resource for selecting costumes from this era. It includes anything you ever wanted to own from the thirties, from accessories to suits. There¼s also a handy index, silhouette chart, and designer biographies. As former costume director for the BBC in London, John Peacock knows his clothes.

    Schiaparelli Fashion Review: Paper Dolls in Full Color
    by Tom Tierny

      These full-color fashion dolls are printed one-sided on heavy cardboard with all your favorite outfits from Schiaparelli. She created the ultimate merger of art and fashion design, working with artists like Salvador Dali to create whimsical and outlandish thirties styles like the shoe hat, a hat shaped shoe and the tear dress, featuring fabric printed with fake tears.

    Vintage Pattern Lending Library

      A collection of over 800 antique sewing and needlework patterns covering periods of 1870 - the late 1940s. Only members may check out patterns, but paying the fee allows free check out, discounts on pattern purchases, and the chance to check out more than one pattern at time. From the teen patterns include those from rare French fashion magazines and British fashion patterns. This is a fantastic idea.

    The Canadian Virtual Museum - Virtual Fashion Hat Exhibition

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Videos Showing 1930s Fashion and Culture

    Bonnie and Clyde

      This 1969 movie started a bona fide trend for all things thirties. With costumes depicting berets, longer skirts, and other thirties inspired styles, it is credited with starting the seventies trend for maxi skirts. The clothes are great adaptations of thirties styles. Rated R.

    Top Hat

      This vintage movie starring Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astair shows the glamour of thirties style with formal wear for men and sleek bias cut gowns for women. Viewing these thirties clothes in motion says more about their engineered beauty than a photo on a flat page can.

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