20 Stunning Color Photos Show British Women’s Fashions of the 1920s

The 1920s is the decade in which fashion entered the modern era. It was the decade in which women first abandoned the more restricting fashions of past years and began to wear more comfortable clothes (such as short skirts or trousers). As for changes in fashion, the huge influence of Paris designers like Poiret, Patou, Molyneux, Chanel, Lanvin, Lelong, Callot Soeurs and Vionnet cannot be underestimated, not to mention British designers such as Norman Hartnell – who went from catering exclusively to the wealthy upper class in the 1920s to designing British women’s utility dresses in the early 1940s. But there were more factors at work other than the whims of clothing designers. The 1920s was a cultural revolution! These stunning color photographs below were taken by Clifton Royal Adams, who was a National Geographic staff photographer from 1920 until 1934. He died of a brain tumor in 1934 after becoming ill while on assignment to photograph the California giant Sequoia forest. These are from his European travels. Two women buy ice cream from a vendor out of his converted car. Near St. Austel, Cornwall, England. Two country maids rest for lunch in a hayfield. Near Hawkshead, Lancashire, England. A woman kneels in a field of flowers in the Fens. The Fens, Boston, England. A girl stands in a field holding barley in Lincolnshire. Lincolnshire, England. An English woman points pridefully to her farm cart. Fenland, England. A girl looks at the tomb of Thomas Gray near a church in Stoke Poges. Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, England. Two women sit near the Avon River with the Holy Trinity Church behind. Holy Trinity Church, Avon River, Stratford, England. Two young adults sit in the grass by a cliff near water and a village. Rottingdean, East Sussex, England. Women selling Queen Alexandra roses for charity. Seaford, Sussex, England. A group of women hike through Patterdale. Patterdale, Westmorland, England. A woman looks down over the Cuckmore River. Cuckmore River, Westdean, Sussex, England. The former residence of the Duchess of Marlborough. Crowhurst Place, Surrey, England. Locals enjoy the view of the Surrey Hills. Near Dorking, Surrey, England. A young woman mails a letter in a red pillar box. Ventnor, Isle of Wight, England. A woman stands in a garden filled with Calendulas. Lincolnshire, England. A young girl knits a wool garment. Ardara, Ireland. Hikers rest on Skelwith Bridge, a boundary line between counties. Skelwith Bridge, Between Westmorland and Lancashire, England. Two women talk in an Irish cottage garden. One of the Daughters of Erin stands beside the window box of her home. Ireland. Two girls send a letter at the red “pillar box” of the Royal Mail. Belfast, Ireland.

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