In preparation for an upcoming 1920’s themed shoot, I have been researching mens Gangster Fashion in particular. Those of you who know me personally, know I always say that, “Sartorially speaking, I am a bit myopic.” I really only like to think about fashion as it relates to me. It’s not that I’m narcissistic, it’s just that I am not particularly gifted when it comes to spatial intelligence required to imagine how something will fit a frame different than my own. It’s also not for lack of interest or appreciation; I admire fashion for all shapes and sizes. This weeks challenge of mens styling instigated a dive down the rabbit role of the dapper, decked-out fashion of Men in the 1920’s, particularly that of the Gengsters.
Fashion in the 1920’s can be summed up in one word: rebellion. Rebellion against laws like prohibition was reflected in the fashion choice of gangsters, flapper girls, burlesque dancers. Gangsters were influenced by their criminal lifestyle: sharply tailored suits to command authority, tapered pants to conceal weapons, fedora hats to obscure their identity. They opted for neckties vs the more common bow tie of the era. The selected ties in starkly contrasting colors and bold patterns. Their shoe of choice was the two-toned spectator wingtip and was often accompanied by spats.
I wore today’s Gangster-Inspired OOTD during New York Fashion Week. This look combines several BOLD pieces that come together to give the impression of a Gangster. First, I anchored the look with a fluorescent pink blouse from Top Shop paired with a textured skirt from Kate Spade. I love how the ruffled-sleeve serves to counter the overall “toughness” of the look. Next, I achieved the the Gangster Appeal through a careful choice of accessories: vintage “derby” hat, edgy caged belt, and the gangster signature: a purse with the silhouette of a pistol. I chose Art Deco-style jewelry common in the 1920’s. I pulled the various colors of the outfit together with the perfect graffiti shoe by Christian Louboutin.
Top: Miss Selfridge from TopShop London, Skirt: Kate Spade, Cage Belt: BCBG Max Azria, Necklace: Vintage, Earrings: Forever 21, Bracelets: (Top) H&M (Bottom) Tiffany’s, Hat: Vintage, Purse: Unknown from South Korea, Shoe: Christian Louboutin
Photography by: Jeanne Cho, www.HairyJuku.com; Styling by: Ginger, www.Ginger-Snap.com