The fashion of the time is currently celebrating a renaissance

The fashion of the time is currently celebrating a renaissance

In the mirror

Hello Schneider

Renaissance

Lots of sequins, glitter and flapper dresses: in their fall collections, the designers relive the hedonistic years of the golden twenties. The fashion of 100 years ago, recently reinterpreted.

The shows often take place in the same locations during fashion weeks. Chanel usually shows her new creations at the Grand Palais. The fact that guest shows were canceled earlier in the year due to the pandemic gave designers the opportunity to stage their digital productions in entirely new locations.

Loewe designer JW Anderson, for example, had his eccentric designs photographed at “Le Train Bleu,” a traditional Parisian restaurant at Gare de Lyon, which celebrates its 120th birthday this year. But why exactly did he choose this place as his backdrop? 100 years ago, in the 1920s, the restaurant was one of the places in nightlife where hedonism was at its best.

This feeling was also present in the Loewe collection. Small elements such as round pink tassels at the bottom of a midi skirt or large-scale geometric patterns that are reminiscent of the Bauhaus, so important at the time. Or the dress that was so significant for the time, with a wide flared tulle skirt that reached her hips, even almost below her.

The beginning of a new world.

The design was clearly based on the “robe de style” silhouette that Jeanne Lanvin envisioned in the 1920s as a kind of antithesis to typical straight-cut flapper dresses. Because the decade was above all a time of constant innovation, the beginning of the modern world. What happened in sociopolitical terms (for example, great advances in emancipation) was also expressed in fashion. So it played an important role that many women’s clothing had pockets for the first time.

All of this came after the experiences of the First World War and the Spanish flu of 1918 and 1920. Since the Spanish flu was historically the last great pandemic, it makes sense to draw certain parallels with the current corona pandemic; also from the point of view of fashion. The prediction of the new golden twenties has already prevailed, at least in designer collections.

Sequins everywhere in Paco Rabanne.  (Image: PD/Paco Rabanne)

Sequins everywhere in Paco Rabanne. (Image: PD/Paco Rabanne)

An explosion of fashion, nightlife and sex

Raf Simons, for example, who currently acts as co-creative director at Prada together with Miuccia Prada, gave a concrete trend towards the new Roaring Twenties: “If history repeats itself, then we are in the 1920s, and we all know how “. these were: an explosion of fashion, nightlife, sex, very boisterous”.

Direct references to the 1920s could hardly be missed in her Prada collection: art deco prints on tight long sleeves, egg-shaped coats in neon colours, V-neck cardigans and knee-length skirts. Simons and Prada also designed a certain reinterpretation of flapper dresses in green sequins with a faux fur stole over them.

Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada reinterpret flapper dresses.  (Image: PD/Prada)

Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada reinterpret flapper dresses. (Image: PD/Prada)

Sequins also played a crucial role in Paco Rabanne’s collection. Creative director Julien Dossena used them ornamentally, as in flapper dresses 100 years ago, but the dramatic cuts in his dresses did not negate the body, rather they emphasized it. Dries Van Noten, on the other hand, fitted away from the body (or at least from the waist) and kept his design of a sequined dress with a minimal cut. And because the Roaring Twenties are always about dance, he immediately photographed the catalog of his collection on dancers.

Dries Van Noten emphasized dance in his lookbook.  (Image: PD/Dries Van Noten)

Dries Van Noten emphasized dance in his lookbook. (Image: PD/Dries Van Noten)

At Lanvin, a fashion house already closely associated with the 1920s through its eponymous founder, the waist of some dresses fell to the hips. However, it is unlikely that these trimmed and slim flapper-like bodies will prevail as a new ideal of beauty. Hourglass silhouettes continue to set the standard.

Typical of the 1920s, the Lanvin dress emphasizes the hips.  (Image: PD/Lanvin)

Typical of the 1920s, the Lanvin dress emphasizes the hips. (Image: PD/Lanvin)

But anyway, a lot of quotes from the 1920s now are mostly about having fun, trying things out, being free, and celebrating life after a tough time. Today, 100 years later, this is not unlike the period after the Spanish flu. Paco Rabanne designer Dossena summed it up aptly: “It’s simply about enjoying your own existence, letting out the vibration of true joy.”