I wonder what real people looked like in those dresses, how many of them they had.
Re: They looked pretty amazing!
I've never been fond of the 20's style but certain people can really pull it off. I'm a costumer and I seen classy lady to oh lord take off the sequened sack!
My sister and I went shopping this past week for dresses in a 1920's style, and it was horrible. If you've got any amount of boobs and booty, you look like you're holding a circus under a tent.
Didn't they wear "slimming foundation wear" to even things out? It's still a really hard style to carry off, though, I agree. It always reminds me of the beginning of Thoroughly Modern Millie - "My beads don't hang straight!"
Bless your heart for remembering that. Julie Andrews, wasn't it? I love it when her chest girdle popped and the fellow's eyes just about popped out of his head.

Ironically, this style started as a response to the extremely corseted and bustled look of the turn of the century (The MainLine Silhouette, I believe it was called) and it was first created by women designers.

The earliest designs featured a lot of diaphanous silk and satis that were supposed to drape luxuriously over the body... The showing of the actual body form, after decades of showing an corseted "amplified" silhouette, was, ironically, deemed VERY IMMODEST. Enhanced and engineered bosoms and buttocks= OK. The real stuff? Heavens FORBID!
Yep, Julie Andrews! I've probably seen that movie 20 times. It was one of my favorites as a kid.

I didn't know that about the body shape, very interesting, I'm glad you posted about it.

Well it wasn't just the shape, it was the MOVEMENT! Among other things, a Victorian corset never let anyone see that you had two individual boobs -- the style is also known as a "monobosom." And not only were these dresses from the twenties worn without corsets, they were also unstarched, often cut on the bias. Plus, you know, up to the knee.

Often when part of a style is more provocative (in this case showing leg) another part is simplified to balance it out. This is like the clunky shoe styles that anchor a 1960s miniskirt. Not nearly as over the top sexy as a mini with stilettos. We had to wait until the 1980s for that.
True...I was specifically thinking of a Fortuny gown of micropleated silk (Mcfadden reprised this pleating technique in the early 90's in a fine poly) that flowed over the woman's body like rivulets of metallic water. That gown would STILL be suitable for the Oscars...Elegant and ridiculously sexy on the right body: A shimmering column of gold. I'm thinking Kate Winslet....but then again, I'm ALWAYS thinking Kate Winslet...I've had a "thing" for her since Sense and Sensibility.
Oh Fortuny is fantastic, and utterly timeless. That's one reason it's not really significant in the context of period silhouette. You COULD wear a Fortuny gown over a corset; it would just have a diffferent outcome.

And no one has ever figured out the precise technique he used to make the pleats permanent in natural silk.
I know re: pleats. It was such a big deal when Mcfadden got it to work in Poly. I'd love a man's button down shirt pleated like that in pewter silk.
My favorite is the bottom middle ad. Those purple bloomers crack me up. But I seriously love the shoes and stockings in the bottom right corner.