1920s Fashion The Definitive Sourcebook

The MoMu library just received 3 beautiful books written and edited by Charlotte Fiell and Emmanuelle Dirix: three ‘Definitive Sourcebooks’ on 1920s, 1930s and 1940s fashion.

Emmanuelle Dirix is a long-time collaborator, researcher and curator for MoMu and teaches fashion history in London (LCF, CSM) as well as at Antwerp’s fashion department.

The three books contain a critical text on the fashions and defining events of these decades which influenced fashion. The 600+ fashion plates and images illustrate very thoroughly the fashion changes over the years, the representation of women and the use of materials and techniques by different designers and fashion houses.


As one can imagine, these 3 decades have seen major changes in society as well as in fashion. In the first book on the fashions of the Roaring Twenties, Dirix debunks the myth that all of Europe was dressed as the typical ‘flapper girls’ and shows how the 1920S brought about major changes in society which were reflected in easier, democratized fashions for these new types of working women. Coco Chanel’s “pauvre chic” gets some attention as well as the evolution in European couture houses and the copies of Parisian fashions abroad. The influence of sportswear on high fashion is visible in the fashion plates of the time. The image plates are divided into daywear, evening wear, outerwear and the typical 1920s accessories such as boas and hats.
The images in this book are a true feast for the eye!