A fabulous exhibition called ‘Night Life’ is on display at Rippon Lea Estate in Melbourne, featuring original fashion items from the 20s and 30s that were made and worn in Australia. The ‘roaring 20s’ manifested a time of economic prosperity and joy due to the conclusion of the War. Skirt lengths and hairstyles were shorter, and sequins and fine embellishments were all the rage. Although there was reluctance to adopt these new controversial styles that brought fashion into a less conservative era, they soon became accepted in the western world by the mid 20s. Even in the present day, the 20s are known to have produced some of the most desirable and chic fashion of the 20th century.
Elaborately detailed wraps and capes rose to popularity in the 1920s, as can be seen in the above picture where the sheer cape decorates this plain black maxi dress.
This dress exemplifies the look of the 20s with a dropped waist, skirt measured just below the knees, and fine embroidery with sequins.
Floral prints became popular in the 1930s, and obviously this trend was repeated in the 1970s. These historical fashion exhibitions present how trends will always repeat themselves, and how in our own lifetimes, we are bound to experience the same trends a few times over. Nevertheless, style will always be in fashion, and fashion these days is so broad that it is constantly integrating trends from different eras into single outfits. This is also demonstrated by the contemporary Melbourne-based stylists and photographers who have featured their work in this exhibition.
This collection of stunning clothes and accessories made me wonder about the fabulous and fashionable women who wore them. I would have loved to know the stories behind these outfits, and the exciting shenanigans that were performed in them!
Tassels, tassels, and more tassels. These vintage bags were hand beaded with gold clasps and exclusively worn for formal events.
As hemlines became shorter, shoes became an important feature of an outfit as they were constantly on display. These shoes appeared very small and narrow, almost meant for a modern-day child.
How I wish I could be transported into the 1920s for just one night to enjoy a sophisticated society party. If you are in Melbourne, I would highly recommend visiting this lovely exhibition that is open until 30 July.
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