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Sewing, Style & Creative Writing
  • Style and Make-up of the 1920s

    Posted on 25/02/2014 by Nadia in Fashion & Design Exhibitions.

    Whoa! The era was a bustling time. A time of technological innovation, prosperity, social reforms and a flourishing economy stimulated by its growing automobile industry.

    The need and longing for “joie de vivre”, after the Great War and the catastrophic Influenza Pandemic of 1918, was widespread.

    And yes, as people worked less, and earned more, free time, leisure time and distractions were becoming an important slice of everyday life.

    Women dreamed of emancipation and felt empowered when they won the right to vote (1920 in the US, 1928 for 21 year old women in Britain).

    The music industry boomed. Enter the Jazz Age. And whaddayaknow , enter prohibition, banning the sale of alcohol in the US(from 1920 to 1933) as well!

    Flapper movement in full swing, women went out to Dance, drink whiskey in illicit speakeasies, fast becoming buoyant venues of the Jazz Age, and challenged the conventional boundaries.

    The 20s saw the rise of many famous women musicians such as Bessie Smith, Ruth Etting, and Alberta Hunter

    Hollywood was quickly growing into a dominant force and making over 2,000 movies a year! Women imitated Hollywood stars such as Louise Brooks, Greta Garbo, Clara bow, etc…

    For the 1920s woman, Make up, fashion, hairstyle, attitude and priming had become important means of expression.


    To help you create the look, I am posting the following links:

    Roaring 20’s Flapper Makeup Tutorial:



    With the invention of the lipstick push up sticks in tubes (1915 Maurice Levy) and the introduction of a new version of Mascara (1913 T. L. Williams founder of Maybelline), lipstick and Mascara became mainstream.

    The discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter fascinated people worldwide; the ancient Egyptians typically lined their eyes with kohl to create an almond-shaped eye. Women began to recreate the Egyptian look by using eyeliner.

    False eyelashes were invented by the American film director D.W. Griffith while he was making his 1916 epic, “Intolerance”.

    While the film was a flop, the eyelashes were a massive hit. Griffith didn’t make a penny; he never patented the idea.


    Hairstyles & Hats

    The “Castle bob” was introduced by the then famous dancer and style trendsetter Irene Castle in 1915. Although, seen as a fairly scandalous statement of independence in women. It was adopted by film stars Colleen Moore and Louise Brooks in the early 1920s and by the mid-20s the style was the predominant female hairstyle.


    The cloche hat was invented by milliner Caroline Reboux in 1908, and remained popular during the 1920s.

    The Yarn Monkey



    Women continued to push the boundaries, wearing dresses that were above the knees revealing more of their legs and expressing more sexual freedom.


    Coco Chanel. Need I say more? 

    One of the first women to wear trousers, cut her hair and reject the corset was Coco Chanel. In 1920, Chanel introduced wide-legged trousers for women, based on sailor’s bell bottoms, which she called “yachting pants.”

    Just a fun fact, it was only last January that France finally abolished a law dating from 1799 which prohibited women from wearing trousers in public.

    My homage to the flared trousers of the 20s

    Iconic Chanel No 5. Launched in the 20s. Loved today still.

    Without a doubt the 20s deserve being called the roaring 20s, society made great strides in the social and civil rights arena.

    Sadly, the crash of 1929 brought this era to an abrupt end….

    Which leaves one pondering what today would be like….What if these Roaring Years had never been……?

    So with this, I say farewell to the ladies of the 20s by saying thank you for the music and the dance, for the eyeliner and the lashes, for the various shades of red… and especially for my vote!


    The pictures were originally taken for the 1920’s Murder mystery  (Pictures & Script by David – Make-up & Styling by Nadia)

11 Responses so far.

  1. oonaballoona says:

    january?! they should have kept it on the books for kicks!

  2. Clorinda Prina says:

    Great images on the 1920s!

  3. lola says:

    Very interesting David, makes me want to rush out and get some false eyelashes! Lovely styling!

    • David says:

      Hi Lola, Nadia wrote it actually…I wouldn’t know where to start about 1920’s make-up 🙂

    • Nadia says:

      Lol! Thank you Lola! Hope this will not trigger spending sprees….

  4. Anna says:

    Bravo Nadia!!!! Lovely piece of the 1920’s make-up,
    You also really look amazing in all the pics!
    Well done to David!
    I am impressed!
    Love it! X

    • Nadia says:

      Thank you Anna!!!! Bravo to the full cast of “A 20s Murder Mystery” 🙂 I had a whale of a time! Hope you too! X

  5. Sam says:

    That was fantastic!! Very informative, beautiful pictures, and I can’t wait to try the make up. Nadia you look amazing ( and sexy!) as usual!!

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