1920's - 1940's Dresses
Vintage clothing in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s saw rapid changes in silhouette and hemlines. The beginning of the 1920s saw hemlines a few inches above the ankle to the short knee lengths of the mid-twenties Flapper period. The waist dropped to the hips for a boyish "garconne" look, and the huge hats of the Titanic era were replaced with head hugging cloches over bobbed hair.
Several designers were very influential during these years. Chanel, the originator of the "Little Black Dress", designed soft, simple, easy to wear clothing accented with costume jewelry. Vionnet invented the bias cut which became the sophisticated lines of the early 1930s. Boue Soeurs and Lanvin featured very feminine looks, and Hollywood movie stars set fashion trends as well.
With the early 30s came the natural waist and longer hemlines that started to rise again in the mid-30's. The great Schiaparelli used the designs of Surrealist artists in her whimsical creations. The broad shoulders and short skirts became the look of WWII early to mid-40's, with that decade ending with Dior's post war "New Look" extravagance.