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How the 1920s Took Over Our Decade

By Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — If you’re a Hollywood and fashion trend watcher, you’ve noticed that hit television shows set in the 1920s such as Downton Abbey and Boardwalk Empire are influencing today’s fashion designers. It’s also making everything that’s old new again for antique and vintage clothing dealers.

Lisa Gerber, owner of the Burning Bird Studio outside of Philadelphia, says that watch parties coinciding with the shows and a movie remake of The Great Gatsby this year is influencing sales in antique and vintage clothing stores.

“We just had a pair of sisters who was throwing a 1920s-inspired birthday party for their father,” Gerber says. “We worked with them for hours.”

Finding a true 1920s vintage piece isn’t as easy as it may sound, Gerber says. “The items really from the 1920s are almost 100 years old, and they have not held up well to time,” Gerber says. “The items that have are highly collectible and great for museums.”

Some younger people and students are grabbing up tattered pieces, but when people come in looking for vintage 1920s wear she has to find vintage-inspired pieces made in the 1960s and ‘70s, she says.

Another problem with true 1920s vintage: Women were much smaller. “I’ve been able to find some maternity wear from that time that will fit smaller women of today, but women were so much smaller that it is hard to fit modern women with true costumes from that era,” she says

Hats and furs, if they were stored properly, are holding up better, and people interested in finding true vintage have a better chance with these items and Art Deco-influenced jewelry.

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