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Jazz Age Fashion Inspiration for New Year’s Eve

Ring in the New Year with the glamour and sparkle of the Jazz Age! New Year’s Eve is right around the corner – what better way to celebrate than evoking the timeless style of the 1920s? 

#CMAJazzAge showcases stunning styles ranging from silk fringe dresses, to elegant French capes, to intricate beaded cloches – everything needed for a dazzling evening on the town. 

Check out some of the exhibition’s timeless fashion below, described by Patricia Edmonson, ‎Museum Advisory Council Curator of Costume and Textiles at the Western Reserve Historical Society, and the exhibition catalogue, and see it in person  through Sun, 1/14! 

Not sure what look you're going for? The Venetian designer Mariano Fortuny kept his customers happy by creating garments for any body type. In the exhibition, get an up close look at both his silky, sensuous, form-fitting gown, and the dramatic velvet that concealed any flaws. 

“In the 1920s, Paris was the authority on covetable fashion trends and silhouettes. The American woman, whose new social and physical freedom demanded a fresh way of dressing became a muse of French designers.” 

Image courtesy Western Reserve Historical Society Chisholm Halle Costume Wing

Plan on dancing? The classic flapper dress was meant to move. Imagine fringe and beads swaying to the music, festively sparkling in the jazz clubs on New Years Eve. This example, attributed to Worth, has beaded fringe and a latticework back, sure to attract attention.

“This magnificent dress by Coco Chanel from 1926 is the ultimate in flapper-style evening wear, consisting entirely of two large rows of graduated silk in hues from dusk to midnight blue.”

“Embroidered with beadwork forming a pagoda landscape, this elegant French cape of about 1925 embodies the influence of chinoiserie on the periods fashions.” 

“The use of black as a fashionable color for evening reinforced the Jazz Age shift from Victorian social conventions where black was reserved for mourning.”

“Beaded cloches, such as this American version from the 1920s, minimized the distraction of hair and completed the fashion ensemble.”

Image courtesy Western Reserve Historical Society Chisholm Halle Costume Wing

Accessories can make all the difference. 1920s fans were fun and flirty.

Image courtesy Western Reserve Historical Society Chisholm Halle Costume Wing

You might not want to carry a fan, but consider a strappy, twenties-inspired shoe like this glitzy Delman pair.

Note: quoted passages pulled from: The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s catalogue by Sarah D. Coffin and Stephen Harrison, available now at the CMA store. 

This post was written in collaboration with the Western Reserve Historical Society.

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