Twenties? Gat’s the way to do it...

Biba nude beaded flapper dress, �225 and Biba ivory Faith embossed clutch, �145, House of Fraser (020 7003 4000/
Biba nude beaded flapper dress, �225 and Biba ivory Faith embossed clutch, �145, House of Fraser (020 7003 4000/
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If there’s a posh evening do on your horizon, take inspiration from the movies.

Oscar smash The Artist and upcoming movie blockbuster The Great Gatsby are having a sophisticated influence on evening and partywear.

River Island black aztec embellished tunic, �100 (

River Island black aztec embellished tunic, �100 (

Twenties-style looks are the razzle dazzle trend of 2012.

From Gucci to Marchesa and Roberto Cavalli, the most glamorous of the catwalk designers have already gone crazy for divine deco.

Instead of fifties and sixties styles, which are now dominating daywear, flapper girl style is the dressier retro reference of choice.

Think intricate beading, drop waists and even a dusting of fur and feathers.

Marks & Spencer tribal flapper dress, �75, available June ((0845 302 1234/

Marks & Spencer tribal flapper dress, �75, available June ((0845 302 1234/

Jazz hands at the ready... This show-stopping trend is set to Charleston well into next year.


The Twenties-esque shape is easy to master if you want to cast yourself as a modern-day Daisy Buchanan.

Opt for a straight knee-length shape to stay true to the decade.

Women of the Twenties bade goodbye to corsetry and structure and turned to less exaggerated silhouettes, with shorter dresses that skimmed the hips and flattened the chest.

“The look was sleek and slender, quite flat and boyish,” explains Naomi Thompson, author of new book Style Me Vintage.

“Drop waists were the main feature and created a longer, less feminine frame. The big revolution, however, was that a visible ankle was now not only socially acceptable, but fashionable.”


Keep your look dramatically retro rather than OTT, which can make you look like you’re in fancy dress.

For a modern take, retailers like River Island and Marks & Spencer have taken the Gucci homage black, gold and cream fringed dresses in a tribal direction.

Look for exaggerated fringing that looks more festival high summer than deco dancefloor.

To go classic Gatsby, think flirty glamour with swinging tasselled trims and shimmering beading or sequins in art deco formations.

Look for a daring side split if you prefer a long dress.

If you’re going all-out with a Twenties-inspired glitzy dress, stay jewellery free. Prefer to be dripping in vintage-look accessories? Opt for a plain, fuss-free dress to offset the bling.


The Twenties was a period of excess on the accessories front, but pieces still looked dainty and streamlined to fit with the new fashion mood.

This season, you can go to town on dazzling headpieces, statement drop earrings or rows of beads – just ensure you keep the rest of your look pared down. “Avoid the cliched look of long gloves and a hair feather and instead go for a simple gold head band draped around the forehead and metres of looped glass beads,” Thompson suggests.

Think Twenties starlet for your outerwear too – and add extra drama with an ostrich feather cover-up.

And hunt out Egyptian-inspired accessories for authenticity. Thompson says: “Handbags, shoes and cigarette cases were all adorned with hieroglyphics.”

Style Me Vintage by Naomi Thompson is published by Pavilion, priced £9.99.

Twenties wish list

If you’ve fallen head over heels with the Gatsby girl trend, Naomi Thompson reveals the typical evening look shopping list of the decade:

Sheer, often sequinned dresses.

Handkerchief hemlines – shorter linings and longer sheer overskirts.

Velvet devore evening coat, trimmed with luxurious fur such as mink or sable.

Long ropes of pearls or glass beads.

Enamelled or gilded chainmail bags.

Seed pearl clutches.

Ornate shoes with Louis curved heels.

Exotic headdresses and headbands.