The Costume Collection: 1920s

Part Five of the series on Loel Thomson’s Costume Collection.

I must confess to loving the ‘twenties – oh those rebellous flappers and all that rule breaking! We’ll probably never see their like again and still I’m in awe. It takes a lot to convince a young woman, heck, any woman, that showing off your feminine wiles isn’t important. I’m also in awe of the consistency of the ’20s ladieswear; there are minor deviations, sure, but what you generally see is a long tube shape of a dress (or suit or top and skirt) and a concerted effort to counteract female curvaceousness. It makes it a very easy era to date – the simplicity of the silhouette is counteracted by the luxury of the silk fabrics and the detailing: glass, steel and anthracite beading, gelatinous sequins (whatever you do, don’t put a sequinned flapper gown in water!).

I’m particularly impressed with Loel’s collection of ’20s: simple and embroidered cotton day dresses and extravagant evening gowns. It’s hard to appreciate the beadwork without closeups but if it looks fabulous, believe me, it is.

20s beaded 1

Click on the link for more

Day Dresses
20s day dress
20s day dress 2
Day dress close up


Evening gowns
20s beaded 2
20s beaded 3
20s evening group
20s fringed
20s beaded 4

20s lingerie

Dress of Egyptian assuit, a method of lacing silver into the fabric.
20s assuit dress


  1. They’re beautiful. And in every article, I’ve seen dresses that I’ve seen before – those which have been reproduced for movies, television, etc. For instance, the white day dress with the blue-stoned necklace was the last dress worn by the minister’s wife in “A Month in the Country”.

    Thank you for showing these.

  2. I love, love the frocks. I still don’t have a photo with me in yours – will get one, I promise. You have made my day!

  3. Madly in love with these – I collect 20s (occasionally sequeing into Edwardian, teens or creeping up into early 30s transitional designs), so seeing such an array is a real treat. Beautiful range of day and evening.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *