by Rowena Howie January 17, 2017
Our 1920s Fashion Show at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London was the highlight of everybody's January! Feast your eyes on pictures of Thursdays event.
How amazing to be invited to collaborate with a prestigious London Museum! Following quick on the heels of my visit to Downing Street and winning a Time Out Best shop Award (again) I have to say I've been thanking my lucky stars! I met Celia Joicey, head of FTM when I was attending another late night event, the 'Jazz Age Gin Tasting'. Yes I loved this exhibition so much I visited many times and participated in multiple late night museum events. It was wonderful then to collaborate on one of our own.
I told Celia how much I loved the exhibition but suggested how exciting it would be to bring 1920s fashions to life, to have them worn by real women, to add movement, dance and show what it was like to be a flapper girl and dance the charleston in a beaded or fringed flapper dress!
The Jazz Age exhibition has many beautiful antique dresses but of course these cannot be touched or moved, in fact many of the beaded flapper dresses have to be laid flat within a glass case so although it's marvellous to see them you have to use your imagination what they would have looked like on.
That's why I thought attendees would enjoy our show; seeing Revival's 1920s dresses on women of all shapes and sizes, understanding how different fabrics and designs drop or hang and experiencing how flapper girls of the Jazz Age might have used 1920s fashions to be the centre of attention as books and novels might suggest.
I shall start at the beginning, however, as I would like to give you an idea of how i showed a diverse range of 1920s fashions to the crowd. There were many 'ooh' and 'aah' moments, I do hope you get a feel for that here, especially via the video clips.
Firstly a behind the scenes shot with the girls getting ready to go on. Look at Laura in that beautiful pale blue satin and tulle dress. It's called the Josephine and there are more details here.
I wanted to start the show with daywear. Not all 1920s fashion is about glitz, glamour and opulent parties! Something for the NY Jazz Age Lawn Party or a special dress for an English Garden Party or a 1920s Wedding is just as likely to be asked for in our boutique.
This picture of a simple embroidered ink blue day dress was taken by one of our attendees who wrote her own very interesting blog about the event. Go take a look afterwards for another view of this event from Annotations of Jenny.
Next up we continued the 1920s clothing 'daywear' theme and showcased this romantic dress I saw on Pinterest years ago and have longed to bring to our boutique ever since.
We never do things by half's at Revival and you will see that each dress is accompanied by shoes and accessories to complete the outfit. Every item is available to purchase from the store (subject to availability of course!).
This vintage cream coloured dress was set off beautifully by the gold shoes and gold elbow length gloves. we then finished this 1920s look with an antique look pearl bracelet, the pearls being the same colour as those on the dress and a custom created vintage cream sequin headband with pink flowers to match the pink embroidery on the dress.
Ivory and cream are our best selling colours because they suit daytime events and it appears luxurious to wear this colour at night feeding that theme of opulence for 1920s themed parties. We also help brides planning a 1920s wedding. This dress is so pretty, the skirt is like flower petals it is just so romantic and beautiful.
Many thanks to Sam (instagram @blossomandbuttercups) for modelling this one. Her slim but curvy proportions show how these dresses can show feminine flair; it doesn't all have to be about androgynous boyish shapes for 20s looks.
We offer a number of ivory 1920s dresses, not all of them were captured on the night but you can see some in the 1920s section of our online store and you can look at our photoshoot with vintage blogger NoraFinds.
Most of the dresses we showed are available to buy from our boutique but kept under wraps until quite recently I am able to divulge that Revival Retro has developed our own 1920s clothing collection. So many of the dresses available are very ornate and though they are beautiful I wanted to offer some iconic styles in silks and velvets.
This handkerchief skirt dress is a copy of a vintage dress I personally own. It is so exquisite I felt that I had to share it with the world and have done so in this vibrant green washed silk. The touch and feel is divine and the folds of the skirt are tantalising as you move around and tap your feet to the charleston beat in this dress.
The Revival debut collection of 1920s dresses is available by special order only. Enquire with staff at the shop.
How sensational is this black and gold number? Back to the glitz and glamour! Our model Nancy is a professional when it comes to vintage dance and she is a burlesque babe. She gave us sassy moves to show off the evening dresses she modelled.
See how our gold balboa shoes go with just about everything!?! You can buy them online here or come in store to get a pair if you would like to compare sizes as these come in half sizes too. Super comfortable for street wear and the dancers favourite shoe too. Available in many colours throughout the year, choose your favourites.
This is The Starlet 1920s Dress in black with gold embellishments. I could have had nancy wear a black slip that would have deepened the undertone and increased the contrast of gold against black but I wanted to demonstrate how you can change up the look. Putting a gold slip underneath changes it. You can see in the first picture in this blog what it's like when you wear a black slip underneath a dress with silver embellishment where the contrast is obvious.
The next two dresses are also from our private collection. We offer these by special order only but this means you can choose a custom colour! Ooooh! What would you pick?
The It Girl had everything so I thought why not add colour to this outfit, a pink cloche hat and matching pink shoes to set off this blue silk dress. What do you think?
And now a velvet party dress, I introduced our stunning magenta number with its dramatic details. An art deco brooch artfully placed at the hip accentuates the line!
See that's the balboa shoe again, this time in ivory and tan, a wonderful nude option. Those balboas they are just a low comfortable shoe, everybody loves them!
Hollywood plays a big role in our perception of 1920s fashion so how wonderful to have a dress from the movies. This is the dress from the silent movie remake, The Artist. Now you can own the Artist Dress and have your own lead role.
This fringed flapper dress is so much fun! Our model here is Joanna. A week earlier she was a customer in the shop trying on dresses for a work interview when in passing conversation i mentioned this upcoming event. Not only was she excited she also volunteered to model. Much excited trying on of 1920s dresses ensued and Joanna fell in love with this one so we decided this had to be one on the styles she would model. She looks great doesn't she?
Ever wanted to look the Bees Knees, well this dress from our friends at Vecona Vintage is exactly that! The bees knees is also a 1920s dance move, so we focused on some exciting footwear options too to show off when you're on the dance floor.
We always have lot's of vintage shoes to choose from. They range from top quality Spanish leathers through to vegan shoes made from synthetic fibres. These are 'Suzie' they are almost all sold out at the time of writing but every season we receive new syle to lust after.
The red version of the Bees Knees Dress we paired with the perfect little tea jacket and long string of glittering diamantes.
See how Rachel moved the flower that was on Sam's Belt to be a flower in her hair? Clever, eh!
At Revival we offer all manner of vintage accessories and many are available from our web store but know that there is often much more to be found in store than we manage to put online. The London boutique is well worth a visit!
All the girls looked amazing in all the dresses. Sadly we didn't manage to get pictures of all of them but in this group shot you can see Joanna in the vibrant red Peppy dress and Laura in the amazing bronze and black Egyptian revival 1920s Cleopatra dress.
Last of all, the finalé, Nancy in a beautiful ornate beaded fringe flapper dress 'Icon'. Every single strand of fringe is strung with glass beads that catch the light as Nancy moves. It's exquisite! As she arrived on the runway I had Nancy make an entrance in the most luxurious ivory faux fur stole so decadent it could be owned by an old Hollywood movie star.
I hope you enjoyed these pictures of the show. Make sure you are on our mailing list to hear about future events! Meanwhile, we look forward to seeing you in store soon!
Lover of beautiful things and amazing people. Explorer and Entrepreneur. This is my independent shop, whether you visit our London boutique or browse our online offering it is my vision that our wonderful team is working hard to bring to life.
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The Revival Retro Boutique
30 Windmill Street, London, W1T 2JL (Goodge Street, Tube)