Classy and joyful dresses in the National Museum of Costume
The 1920’s, or the Roaring Twenties, was a decade of prosperity, pursuit of pleasure, nightlife enjoyment and artistic renovation.
The 1920’s witnessed the publishing of new newspapers and magazines. Portuguese fashion magazines such as Voga, Modas & Bordados and Eva also reached a wider audience.
Fashion trends still come from France, as in previous decades, through the bourgeois elite who buy from the Parisian haute couture houses.
At the same time, department stores create new consumer habits and democratize fashion.
Women’s clothes moved definitely towards functionality, keeping pace with the Art Deco style characterised by an elegant and decorative geometry.
The young women of the 1920’s rejected the generous and curvy body lines of the early 20th century. They wish to get an androgynous silhouette with a flat chest.
The Garçonne, with an androgynous silhouette, personified the modern and free woman with short hair and strong make up. She would dance the jazz and smoke in public.
The dresses were cut in straight lines and had low waists, emphasizing the flat chest, the slender and curveless body.
Skirts hemline height varied throughout the decade and only from 1926 onwards did it show the legs above the knees becoming one of the strongest features of its time.
Throughout the ages evening wear has always reproduced day dress. However, women’s evening dresses have particular features. The dresses suited for dancing were short with round or square necklines, usually cut in evasée.
Fabrics such as satin, crepe, chiffon or muslin are fully embroidered with beads and sequins and with lace trimmings.
Colours were preferably vivid ones, although black was also appreciated. The naked arms were covered with long evening gloves.
Texts: Dina Caetano Dimas
Translations: Xénia Flores Ribeiro
Online exhibition: Cândida Caldeira