2016 Sunset Report

OLG & DCRT Strategic Plan
2020-21 through 2024-25


Did you know?
Introduction Belle Epoque Jazz Age Hollywood Goes
To War
Modern Century Anything Goes Power And Opulence

The style shifts that preceded World War I accelerated after 1920. The nation's youth embraced jazz, the music of New Orleans, along with new dances such as the Charleston. Sleeveless dresses, scooped necklines and knee-length hems represented a departure from chaste Victorian mores. In 1923 the "Women's Own Page" of the Shreveport Times offered suggestions for a fashionable new gown, beginning with a "wondrous fabric of gold gauze chiffon brocaded with scarlet velvet poppies." The cloth would suit a "simple slip-on chemise frock...bound in scarlet taffeta, and....worn over a slip of gold charmeuse." Even Carnival queens wore flapper style gowns. By 1931, one New Orleanian would complain, "Bare legs have lost their novelty."

Evening gown (left)
Paul Poiret
ca. 1929

Evening gown (right)
Unknown maker
ca. 1919
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The Changing Twenties

The silhouette of the 1920s was a variation of the elongated tubular form introduced in the previous decade. The waistline was lowered to the hip. Hemlines gradually rose and reached the knee by 1924. Within three years they began to descend again. Some fullness was achieved with flairs, flounces and pleats. Sleeveless dresses were deemed appropriate for evening wear only.

Evening gown
Madame Besserat, New Orleans
ca. 1922
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Evening dress and coat
Bergdorf Goodman, New York
ca. 1925
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Three-piece tuxedo
Abo & Popkin, New York, manufacturer
T. Zoller, New Orleans, retailer
ca. 1920

Evening dress
Unknown maker
ca. 1925
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During the 1920s, haute couture took on the structure it has today. Paris design houses developed two collections a year, one for the spring and one for the autumn social seasons. Each designer presented prototypes on models in his or her salon. Garments selected by clients would then be copied and made to order. This entailed several fittings and work by many seamstresses and apprentices. The simple shapes of this period were easily adapted to standardized sizes. This, along with the introduction of electronically powered sewing machines in factories, led to mass production and distribution of new clothing styles. Consumerism in the United States was revolutionized and the number of fashion magazines escalated, providing immediate information on fashion trends.

Design for a bridesmaid's gown
Berley Studios, New York
ca. 1925
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