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September 13, 2014

30 Interesting Vintage Photos That Show Australian Fashions of the 1920s

Australian women before the War were quiet, polite and modest.

In the 1920s, women suddenly appeared sporting short skirts, short hairstyles, smoking, swearing and riding motorcycles.


Where had this new Australian woman come from? Once the soldiers had packed their sacks and hopped on the ships to fight the War in Europe, women emerged from their houses to fill the jobs left empty in support of the armed forces at home and abroad.

The movement from house to workforce which was made by many (but not all) Australian women, led to the birth of the new woman of the 1920s. Liberated by her experiences in the war, women worked and lived in the manner men had enjoyed for decades.

Gwen Caine of Bowen ready for a dancing recital. She is seen in her dancing costume, posing on pointe, ca. 1925.

Studio photograph of a bride and bridegroom with their bridesmaid and best man, ca. 1925. The bride and groom are posed behind a carved wooden stand, the bride's bouquet resting on the stand. The bridesmaid and best man are seated in front and to either side of the bridal couple. The bride and bridesmaid wear typical twenties style dresses and hats.

Models at a fashion parade at Finney Isles & Co., wearing a number of different styles of 1920s evening dresses which are loose-fitting around the bodice, and have low waist lines and uneven hemlines. The models are wearing rows of glass beads or pearls, made popular in the 1920s by French designer Gabrielle Chanel. Hairstyles include the 'bob' and 'shingled' styles which were popular in the late 1920s. The shingled hairstyle was 'cut short at the back and longer at each side, and artificially permed and set into waves' (information taken from: E. Owen, Fashion in photographs 1920-1940, 1993). The parade was held on 12 September 1929, in aid of the Creche and Kindergarten Association at Finney's.

Wedding of Drew and Marie Drynan at St. Stephens Cathedral, Brisbane, 14 August 1929.

Miss Katie Fitzgerald

Their royal highnesses the Duke and Duchess of York enjoy a morning at Mt Cootha April 1927.

Lilian Sandells ca. 1925

Woman, wearing a knee-length skirt and hat, poses next to a water tank. This style of dress, popular in the 1920s, was 'virtually tubular with hip-level waistlines, sleeveless (or cap sleeved) bodices and some fullness introduced into the skirts with gathering, or pleats at the side. The lack of shaping and accurate fit in these garments meant that they could be mass-produced easily and cheaply, or 'run up' at home in inexpensive fabric with little skill necessary.'

Bert Hinkler and his family Bundaberg Queensland 1928

Young women wearing cloche hats, skirts and jackets, ca. 1925. Each has her own set of golf clubs.

Dressed in their best at Coochin Station, ca 1928.

Two women pose for a photo in the 1920s. Both are wearing dresses typical of the era with hip-line waistbands, and hats.

Three women posed on a lounge chair in the front yard. The stumps and stairs of the Queenslander house can be seen behind them. All three women are wearing hats: one a lightweight, light coloured hat; another a striped cloche hat, and the other one a wide-brimmed straw hat. They are wearing knee-length dresses, with long, soft coats over the top. The woman in the centre appears to have fur around her neck, and the woman on the right is holding a purse.

1924 Buick tourer at Tamborine Mountain

Female tennis players, ca. 1927.

Nancy Spry of Winton in a dropped-waist, floral print, satin evening gown with uneven hemline, ca. 1920. She is wearing a matching scarf around her head, with a long feather plume rising dramatically from the scarf. Miss Spry is also holding what appears to be a fan made of feathers.

Beach girls posing under their umbrellas, Brisbane, ca. 1925.

Melbourne artist Jessie Traill with her bicycle

Brisbane wedding, ca. 1925

Wedding of Nancy and Clarrie Wieting, Brisbane, ca. 1925

E. Power on her wedding day in August, 1927

Bathers enjoying a day at Coolum beach, 1929

Costume parade in Charleville, Queensland, ca. 1920.

Cooking outside while kitchen is being added to homestead.

Studio portrait of Stella Doblo holding a camera, Gladstone, 1910-1920. She wears a hat, dress, shoes and socks. The studio backdrop shows a bush scene.

Pineapple Rovers Soccer Club, Kangaroo Point, ca. 1924.

Harry Sunderland was secretary of Queensland Rugby League from 1913-1922 and again from 1925-1938. He was also a journalist.

Entrants in a Queen competition to raise funds for the ambulance, Palen Creek, ca. 1927.

Steam locomotive aboard the M.S. Belray at Pinkenba Wharf, Brisbane 7 July 1927.

Woman with a basket of mandarins

(Photos via State Library of Queensland, Australia)




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