Karl Lagerfeld

The Roaring ’20s or the Jazz Age were best known for epic parties and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The era without borders followed the Spanish flu after people spent two years indoors. A revival of the decade’s affinity for celebration is likely to emerge after the pandemic, and a reinvention of the top trends of the era is likely to follow as well.

Drop waists, second skin satins, and loads of beaded embellishments are likely to appear in what we think will be the Roaring 2020s. What may have felt exhausting or costumed before will now be theatrical yet chic in a new way. Whether your bridal style is low key, modern, modest or glamorous, you will find inspiration in the following Art Deco-inspired archetypes to consider now for your intimate party or later for a larger celebration. Of course, these looks require a sense of drama and a love of all things old and new.

These are chic ways to channel the inspiration of the 1920s for the 2020s, and suit every bride from the fashion-conscious renegade to the tried and tested classic – with a nostalgic twist.

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Pearls on pearls

Strands on bead stands undeniably feel like Gatsby – usually worn long, often wrapped around the neck or cascading down the back, visible through a low-cut, open back.

This embellishment is also synonymous with bridal and is usually associated with more traditional looks. Wear them thick for the new decade – just like these dresses from Vera Wang’s new bridal and ready-to-wear hybrid collection for fall 2021.

Inspired by the 1920s, this version of the classic accessory is all about being glamorous without the glitz. No sparkles or crystals are necessary here. This pearl-on-pearl look is for the bride who doesn’t do anything according to the status quo – for the bride who wants to look festive, formal and throw a party that matches the energy after lockdown.

Pictured: Vera Wang Bridal Fall 2021


Flap 2.0

The jazz age was all about glamor and bangs – and Naeem Khan is the goalkeeper of after-party looks that meet all of these criteria.

But say goodbye to the vintage flair that has long been associated with Gatsby style party dresses. This look is a combination of 20th century stylings and a modernization of the carefree, stylish baffle plate. A high neckline and shoulder pads give the more popular deep V-necklines of the era a cosmopolitan flair, from fashionable pony to leg-revealing length.

Think glamorous yet playful. This bride puts on stilettos or kitten heels, but always swaps a corset for lingerie with a relaxed fit.

In the picture: Naeem Khan Bridal Fall 2021


Feathered dresses

Looking effortlessly chic from head to toe is best achieved with a dress that speaks for itself. Enter: chic feathers and easy-to-wear silhouettes.

This take on inspiration from the jazz age is a little more enticing than all-out glamor. It’s about playfulness, drama and texture. This look is simple yet over the top in the best way – much like how we want the parties to feel when we get out of lockdown. This bride pushes the party dressing to extremes – and isn’t shy about not wearing white.

Pictured: Khyeli Spring 2021


The new tweed suit

In 1925, Chanel presented their signature tweed suit at a small show in their salon on rue de Cambon in Paris. Chanel, known for mixing masculine and feminine ideas in her designs, took inspiration from what her boyfriend at the time, the Duke of Westminster, wore day in and day out.

This bride’s mood is laissez-faire; She’s no pomp or fuss, but her style is still high society, ultra-femme and classic with an edge. This look can be worn in a dress variant or as a two-piece set for the aisle (paired with a veil) or for any other wedding event like rehearsal dinner, after-party, brunch and beyond.

This look might not scream for Roaring’s 20s, but if you invest in a high day-to-night look that you’ll cherish forever, it couldn’t be 2020s anymore. If you go for this look with a micro mini skirt, you have nothing on the way of your dance all night.

Pictured: Chanel Spring 2021 Haute Couture


The speakeasy darling

This bride was in quarantine and ready to party – like 1925 or 2022. Think of staples from the 20s like metallic embellishments, deep V-necklines and dropped waists. Bring them into this century now.

Romantic without a doubt, but disrespectful without feeling worthy of the stage. This look feels fresh – and inspired by decoration. It’s about combining elements of the old world and new, current silhouettes: the full midi skirt, the touch of blush and the barely available accessories make this look far better for parties than for bygone times.

Pictured: Lanvin Spring 2021


Not that straight edge

Calling all contemporary cultivated and hopeless romantics. A seductive mansion or historic home is just the right setting to keep up with this trend. This look is all about sultry satin and a fit that grazes the body.

This 1920s-inspired look has a touch of edge too, starting with a touch of black and an ankle length. The bones of this on-trend riff in ’20s fashion, but a Victorian-inspired sleeve and high neckline bring the look to this era. Go for satin looks with a twist for the upcoming Roaring 2020s. Go for minimal makeup, shades, and opt for baroque pearls and rich embellishments to complete the look.

Pictured: Erdem pre-fall 2021


No-volume levels

This bride is breaking the rules – like most Gatsby girls. While much of Roaring’s fashion in the 20s included layers of fringes and feathers, it was all about maintaining a silhouette for the body. This trend does just that – but it draws on the modern frills and textures we’ve come to love over the past few decades.

This look is foamy but has an edge. Voluminous skirts can get in the way of partying all night, but sporty ruffles without a petticoat are a youthful take on the energy of the jazz age that is sure to suit the lively parties that come after the lockdown.

Pictured: Giambattista Valli Resort 2021


Decoration forever

Head-to-toe embellishments feel like bridal wear – but can feel simple – if you’re not selective with your textures, fabrications, embroidery designs, and accessories. Opt for beadwork that adds intrigue rather than your standard sequin sheath and nod to the decorative designs of the 1920s. Instead of styling it with crystal headpieces and loads of Jazz Age eyeliner, go for effortless hair, simple makeup, and damp skin.

Settings like your favorite bar or restaurant take on new life when paired with Jazz Age vibes that feel fresh – this trend is not about abandoning deco altogether. It’s about adopting it, but with a modern design.

In the picture: Jenny Packham Bridal Fall 2021


Heather Hall
Contributing writer of weddings
Heather Hall is a weddings, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor.

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