1920s FashionBack in the early 1920s, dresses were beautifully crafted with embellishments.
Wealthy women were expected to wear afternoon dresses (also known as "tea gowns") to formal luncheons and afternoon teas. These dresses featured long, flowing sleeves and were embellished with sashes, bows or artificial flowers at the waist. The waistline fell to the hip and the hemline tended to end at mid-calf or just above the ankle - more commonly known today as "tea length".
Evening dresses however, were usually slightly longer. The dresses were extravagant; having made from luxurious fabrics such as satin or velvet and commonly adorned with beads, rhinestones or fringe. If you've watched The Great Gatsby, you would have noticed Carey Mulligan's gorgeous evening gown (depicted below) which designers created based on a representation of the 1920s fashion.
|A scene from the movie - The Great Gatsby|
1930s FashionIn the 1930s though, the attention shifted towards the arms - fluttering or puffed sleeves, butterfly sleeves and banjo sleeves. Evening gowns also came with matching jackets which were worn to the theater, nightclub and fancy restaurants. The photo below shows Bette Davis in her formal frock paired with a gold embroidered jacket.
|Bette Davis in a formal gown with a jacket|
|Vivien Leigh in the iconic Walter Plunkett barbecue party dress|
1940s FashionThe 1940s showcased a myriad of trends including shoulder pads, floral prints, neckerchiefs, pleats, zips, ruching and even statement head wear. But perhaps the most iconic dress was the one worn by Rita Hayworth in the 1946 film Gilda. The actress donned a seductive black satin sheath gown made by American costume designer Jean Louis in the movie's striptease scene.
|Rita Hayworth in Gilda|
1950s FashionThe 1950s is probably one of my favorites decades. Gone were the padded shoulders and tubular silhouettes. Dress silhouettes became more feminine by featuring narrower shoulders, a cinched waist and longer skirts and more emphasis was placed on the bust. In fact, the hourglass figure was all the rage, which was why the dresses were slim at the waist.
One of the most memorable dresses would have to be the white dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in the movie The Seven Year Itch. The dress featured a halter bodice with a plunging neckline, a waistband and a softly pleated skirt.
|Marilyn Monroe in her signature white dress|
|Audrey Hepburn in her stunning Givenchy evening gown|