The Twenties, Thirties, and WWII
1920-1947
Chelsea Bell
Southern Methodist University
MSA 3325
Spring 2013
Historical Background
The Twenties
• In the wake of WWI, many European
nations were weakened and became
smaller in size
• The Communists emerged in Russia led
by Vladimir Lenin followed by Josef
Stalin
Benito Mussolini
• Benito Mussolini came in to power in
1922 in Italy
• The United States, conversely, settled
into a period of unequaled prosperity
The Twenties, Thirties, and WWII
Josef Stalin
American Prosperity
The Twenties
• Automobiles were
top-selling
consumer goods
• Radios began commercial broadcasting in 1922
• Higher education was booming
• The chain store took hold and helped drive down the
prices of consumer goods
• Installment buying took hold
• Airline passenger service was beginning by the end of
the 1920s
The Twenties, Thirties, and WWII
Changes in Social Life
The Twenties• WWI left people wondering if their
efforts had been justified
• The 18th Amendment passed in 1920
• The changing roles of women
resulted in a revolution of morals
and values
• Romantic cynics like F. Scott
Fitzgerald wrote characters who
followed a ceaseless round of
parties and pleasures
• The revolution of morality was
evident in the behavior of the
young, particularly young women
The Twenties, Thirties, and WWII
Visual Arts & Costume
Art Deco
Erté, 1920s
Christ the Redeemer,
built 1922-1931
Rio de Janeiro
The Twenties, Thirties, and WWII
Spire of the Chrysler
Building, NYC. Designed
by William Van Alen,
built 1920-1930
Visual Arts & Costume
Surrealism
René Magritte
False Mirror, 1928
Dress by Elsa Schiaparelli, 1932
Fabric design by Salvador Dali
The Persistence of Memory, 1931
Salvador Dali
The Twenties, Thirties, and WWII
Visual Arts & Costume
Motion Pictures
Jean Harlow
Mae West
Joan Crawford
The Twenties, Thirties, and WWII
Charlie Chaplin
Costume for Women: 1920-1930
Undergarments
Brassiere, 1923
Corset, 1923
The Twenties, Thirties, and WWII
Step-in Chemise, 1923
Costume for Women: 1920-1930
Evolution of the waistline, hipline, and hemline
The Twenties, Thirties, and WWII
Costume for Women: 1920-1930
The Twenties, Thirties, and WWII
Costume for Women: 1920-1930
The “Flapper”
Where There’s Smoke
There’s Fire
by Russell Patterson
Costume for Women: 1930-1947
Undergarments
Brassiere and Girdle,
1930s
Slip and Panties,
1934
Brassiere, WWII
Made of printed
calico
Costume for Women: 1930-1947
French Couture
Gabrielle Coco Chanel
Elsa Schiaparelli
Madeleine Vionnet
Madame Grés
Other Notables
•Heim
•Patou
•Rouff
•Mainbocher
•Lanvin
•Piguet
•Lucien Lelong
•Molyneux
•Rochas
•Nina Ricci
•Fortuny
The Twenties, Thirties, and WWII
American Designers
Claire McCardell
Mainbocher
Haper’s Bazaar 1937
On the Rise:
Norman Norell
Pauline Trigére
The Twenties, Thirties, and WWII
Adrian
Joan Crawford in Letty
Lynton
World War II
General Limitation Order L-85
General Restrictions…
1. More than two articles of apparel at one unit price
2. Any garment of multiple units, which contains wool cloth to be sold at
a unit price
3. French cuffs on sleeves
4. Double material yokes
5. Balloon, dolman, or leg-of-mutton sleeves
6. Fabrics which have been reduced from nomal width or length by overall
tucking, shirring, or pleating, except for minor trimmings
7. Inside pockets of wool cloth
8. Patch pockets of wool cloth on a lined wool cloth garment
9. Interlinings containing any virgin or reprocessed wool
Specific Restrictions for Misses
• No coats with separate or attached cape, hood, muff, scarf, or bag or
hat
• No daytime or evening dresses with a separate or attached belt
exceeding 2 inches in width
• No evening dresses or suits or skirts and culottes with a hem
exceeding 2 inches in width
• No jackets with sleeves cut on the bias or with cuffs on long sleeves
• No slacks with a cuff
The Twenties, Thirties, and WWII
Théâtre de la Mode
The Twenties, Thirties, and WWII

3325The20s30sWorldWarII