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Deco After Dark: Evening Wear, 1920–1945

Start Date 02 June 2019
End Date 01 September 2019
Venue Rodale Gallery, Allentown Art Museum
Location Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA

In Deco After Dark, vintage evening gowns’ glittering surfaces and refined silhouettes provide a feast for the eyes—but also highlight a transformative era in design.

Breaking with decades of stiff, complicated clothing, women of the 1920s and 1930s embraced a sleek, streamlined look. This sartorial shift was particularly evident in evening wear, which found new ways to express formality. Gowns that featured luxurious yet lightweight material, pared down cuts, and geometric decoration mirrored the simple elegance of Art Deco. Offering new freedom of movement and challenging established ideas about feminine appearance and behavior, these modern styles marked an era of social change.