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30’s Fashion Expo

Start Date 03 April 2014
End Date 19 April 2015
Venue Musée du Costume et de la Dentelle
Location Brussels, Belgium

Squeezed between the 1929 stock market crash and the start of the Second World War, 1930s fashion is often neglected.  

After the Roaring Twenties and the flappers who gave themselves up to every extravagance, women returned to more discretion and unostentatious luxury, in keeping with the crisis of the times. They rediscovered their figures, enhanced by skillful cuts and fabrics used on the bias, hugging the body. Appropriate underwear sculpted the silhouette, which was now slender. Hair was worn longer and waved, hairstyles became more voluminous. Outfits were set off by a small hat, worn on the side of the head.  

The dress code was extremely complicated and this complexity increased further up the social scale. Rich socialites leading a life of leisure chose their outfits according to the time of day and their occupations. The list of outfits was long and drawing up an accurate typology can be a minefield: indoor dresses, morning dresses, day or evening suits, dinner dresses, afternoon dresses, garden-party dresses, gala, casino, ball dresses, dresses for small evening parties, dresses for grand evening parties, etc.  

Glamour and sophistication became the watchwords of the decade. Women of all social classes wanted to dress like Jean Harlow, Marlène Dietrich or Greta Garbo – these Hollywood stars with their breathtaking black and white outfits.