2015 Highlights

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Happy New Year everyone! It’s that time of the year again when we start choosing our New Year’s resolutions, dusting off the trainers and stocking the fridge up with salad and fruit! I would say that I don’t do resolutions, but let’s be honest OF COURSE I DO! Insert Awkward Monkey Emoji! In fact I love starting off the New Year in a super positive way. I always find that after a period of eating until I can no longer fit my trousers, January is always a good month to start a fitness regimes or diets and although I don’t tend to follow it through for the whole year, it feels good for the short time that I do do it! Better something than nothing right?! Do you have any 2016 resolutions and do you usually stick to them?

2015 has such an amazing year and I hope that 2016 will be even more exciting! In September I  finished my final law exams, the professional exams needed in order to be a fully qualified solicitor and Gustavo, my boyfriend and I, now live together 🙂 Finishing my exams gave me the freedom to dedicate more time on blogging and after a great summer travelling around Europe with Gustavo, My Girls On Tour was made an official blog of London Fashion Week by the British Fashion Council. One thing I would love for 2016 is to spend more time at home in France and also to see more of my friends! This past year I got to meet so many new friends, fellow bloggers and readers who share similar passions and interests and I hope to meet many more of you in 2016!

In this post I wanted to share some pictures of some of my 2015 highlights, from Christmas with my family and making new friends, to having over 100,000 of you sharing my dreams and adventures with me on social media and here on the blog. It has truly been a blessing attending so many amazing events and having the opportunity to work with so many great designers and some of my favourite brands. In fact I have been working really hard on some exciting new projects that I can’t wait to share with you in 2016! The blog that I started less than 2 years ago has completely changed my life and I can’t wait to continue this magical journey with you!

Happy New Year everybody! May 2016 bring you and your loved ones joy, happiness, success and may it be the year when all your dreams come true ❤

Love, Abi xxx

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My Boutique

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Happy Year New Year everyone! I hope that you had a great start to 2016! Today I will be talking New Year’s resolutions and post my favourite 2015 moments in a few hours, but first I wanted to share with you some of my festive party looks that I have been wearing throughout the sunny wintry days of December, including my New Year’s Even outfit that I wore to see the spectacular London Fireworks! The dress that I wore is truly special to me as it is one from my own collection, which brings me to my most exciting 2015 fashion and travel blog moments, working on my boutique collection and the launch of my own line of party dresses in collaboration with ModayBesos in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In the UK we love to wear beautiful dresses to go out in and so whilst living abroad in Barcelona I thought that it would be great to share these party pieces with other countries. It was so much fun deciding on the designs and the ones that I chose are all ones that I myself would love to wear to a party! I wanted something fun and summery, with lots of lace, bright colours and patterns that would be great for a fun nigh out! I also loved the more bohemian side of the collection that we worked on that featured long skirts, crochet tops and chunky silver jewellery with more neutral tones and of course the beautiful lace and satin ball gowns and wedding dresses! The launch took the My Girls On Tour team across the world to Buenos Aires in Argentina where my dresses are now stocked in beautiful boutiques and stores around the country.

We stayed at the 5* Hotel Boca Junior a luxury hotel by Design which is right in the heart of Buenos Aires and which is the only hotel in the world to be themed around a football team! We visited some beautiful places including La Casa Rosada, Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral and the Teatro Colon. My favourite though was La Boca, an area of the city filled with brightly coloured houses, tango dancers, music and bars. It was nice wandering the streets and seeing the sights, eating our way through succulent steaks and lemon biscuits.

So here are two of my favourite dresses from the collection that I have styled for the party season, with the blue dress being the one that I wore this New Year’s Eve, as well as some photos from our trip to Buenos Aires which was undoubtedly one of my 2015 highlights!

Hope you like it, Abi xxx

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Wearing

Blue Dress – ModayBesos.com

Quilted Clutch – ARMANI JEANS

Heels – DUNE

Banana Republic

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I am starting to feel the impending doom of Christmas looming on the horizon. I have been having too much fun and so I still haven’t started my Christmas shopping yet! The feeling can only be described as that of pre-exam nervousness, knowing that you only have a day to finish half the syllabus* Shudder! :/

My plan is to cram my shopping into the last 48 hours that I have left…so tomorrow want to catch me tomorrow, I will be panicking and panic buying, braving the crowds and Oxford Street/ Regent Street madness, on Christmas Eve! Am I mad? … OK, actually let’s not answering that question…

One of the stores that I will be hitting as a top priority is Banana Republic who recently made me one of their VIP shoppers and invited me to celebrate with them at  their brand new store opening in Kensington. The store was in such a beautiful location and the space was great! The holiday collection being showcased was very chic and sophisticated, with bright pops of color dotting the store and catching my eye: lime green, pink, oranges, the perfect looks for bold fashionistas, fashion bloggers and anyone wishing to brighten up the dreary London sky.

There was a DJ, a nail bar and we a lucky dip where we won discounts and gift vouchers to shop in the store. Gustavo ended up winning the gift voucher, which set him off on a mad shopping spree round the store, he really couldn’t get enough of the rich green jumpers, the thick knits and of course the stylish socks that no entrepreneur can go without. There were so many cocktails, amazing food and after taking photos and giving an interview for Banana Republic UK, we got to relax with the awesome Banana Republic Team!

I will be including some of my favorite pieces in my Christmas Shopping list that I will be posting today and then updating tomorrow depending on my different finds, but in the meantime here are the photos of this special night. I wore a long camel waistcoat- jacket with a black lace up body, black jeans, a wide brimmed hat and black sneakers. I loved the length of the coat and thought that the body and the hat really added a hipster vibe to the whole outfit.

Let me know what you think 🙂 Also, I am shopping tomorrow, so if you have any great present suggestions please don’t forget to send them to me or suggest them to me in the comments, I really need your help!

Love, Abi xxx

Wearing

Camel Coat – MISSGUIDED

Lace up body – MISSGUIDED

Eva Clutch – LOUIS VUITTON

Ceramic Bracelet – IRIS SANDALS

Sneakers – STRADIVARIUS

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All Star Girl in Madrid

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I am sure you will agree that a day that starts off well is one that starts off with Strawberry Milkshakes and Chocolate Sunday’s! 😉 So I bet you could imagine my excitement when we decided to go to the most amazing “All American Diner” right in the heart of Madrid for breakfast. Tony & Mel’s has everything from the black and white tiled floors to the neon lights and duke box and really all that was missing really was Hillary Duff on roller skates. I had to restrain myself from completely filling my phone memory with pics and also from ordering an extra slice of cheesecake to go with my milkshake…OK, fine! I admit it, I failed on both accounts, but still it was super fun at least it meant we had energy for the day’s adventures!

 After eating the equivalent of breakfast, lunch and dinner in one sitting, we made our way to El Retiro, a massive park in the center of Madrid, filled with trees (one of which is the oldest in Madrid), beautiful gardens, a lake and impressive moments, such as the one to King Alfonse XII. We walked around, took some pictures and enjoyed the sun. You could see why people refer to it as the lungs of Madrid, it was so great being surrounded by nature whilst being so close to the heart of the city.

After some serious relaxation time, we drove around Plaza de Colon to admire the many monuments built to commemorate the explorer Christopher Columbus and saw Cibeles, the important fountain in front of the Town Hall of Madrid where Real Madrid celebrate their victories. The whole square was simply stunning, with marble sculptures, the fountain and the impressive neo-gothic hall looming above us! 

In the morning I wore ripped blue jeans with high top black and white Vans shoes and a street style t-shirt that worked well with the American vibe of the diner and then in the afternoon, because it was really hot I changed into white jean shorts and a grey top with lace detail that I wore with high top converse All Stars. I also wore a light crochet jumper to wear inside when the air-con was on. I took with me some of travel essentials, like my Nikon Camera, I-Phone and of course my Passport, because in Spain you have to have identification on you at all times. I showered my look with my some of my summer essentials including my Pull & Bear triangle purse that was perfect for keeping my euro coins in, my Deluxe Store Bahrain jewel encrusted bangles and last but by no means least, my customised, specially made sterling silver ‘Abi” sunglasses from Epitome, that I loved wearing all summer because they were specially made to my taste and had my initials put on the arm. The perfect touch of bling to make any outfit unique!

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WEARING

High Top Black & White Sneakers – VANS

Ripped Jeans – PRIMARK

Street Style Top – PILAR PRIETO

Customized Sterling Silver Glasses – EPITOME

Triangle Wallet – PULL & BEAR

Jewel Bangles – DELUXE STORE BAHRAIN

White Jean Shorts –  H&M

Grey Top with Black Lace – MANGO

High Top Sneakers – CONVERSE

Satchel – QUICKSILVER

Hollywood Sirens and Chanelling My Inner Marilyn

Yesterday we went to a beautiful event on the rooftops of one of London’s most stylish hotels the ME Hotel thanks to Deluxe Store Bahrain. If you are looking for the best view in London in one of the most exclusive and elegant atmosphere’s, then this is the place to go in London. Radio Bar is open in the day time and is a great place for cocktails and food and in the evening it fills up with London’s most chic crowd who sip drinks in a blue hue whilst listening to lounge house. It is very hard to get in on a Friday and Saturday night and guest list is an almost must.

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This was going to be a very special occasion and so I decided to draw inspiration for my outfit from some of the most stylish, best dressed women every to grave this Earth, the Hollywood Sirens. These actresses burst onto the scene as drop dead gorgeous women and marked the golden era of American film and Hollywood. Grace Kelly, Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Talor and Audrey Hepburn, all household names who inspire thought of elegance and beauty. But it was the most famous of all, the tragic Marilyn Monroe who’s looks and dresses really provoked, seduced and shook the nation. A sex symbol,  with a coy attitude and dresses so legendary they would become to be immortalized in stone, I decided to use her famous red sequin dress which she wore in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as inspiration for my look.

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I opted for a long floor length gown with long sleeves and shoulder pads which is entirely covered in sequins to truly reflect the glizzy glam pre 1960’s era. As accessories I decided to wear my beautiful ALFEX watch which I have just received from Deluxe Store Bahrain which is super glam. The white of the strap really went well with the dress and the gold dial which I could light up for some added bling really enhanced richness of the look. I find it quite difficult to find a watch which is functional but which elegant enough to wear out and so I was so pleased with this beauty! I finished the look off white gold stiletto heels and a gold arrow necklace. Hope you like it! Which Hollywood Siren is your favorite and why? Maybe you could do a Hollywood Siren/Beau look and share the link at the bottom of this thread, I’d love to see you ladies and gents looking all glammed up! 😉

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WEARING

White and Gold Watch – ALFEX from DELUXE STORE BAHRAIN

Long Sleeve Floor Length Sequin Dress with Padded Shoulders – AX PARIS

Metal Twist Stilettos – DUNE LONDON

Arrow Pendant – ACCESSORIZE

10 Things to Do in New York City After Midnight

    New York Fashion Week is coming to an end and I haven’t been able to make it this as my invite (as perhaps yours was too?) was somehow lost in the post. However to make up for this series of unfortunate events, I thought it would be nice to share my night time experience in the city which never sleeps and the pictures that I took on our 12 hour stop over in the city some months ago. Our plane arrived in from London at 11pm and we were to fly out to Punta Cana at 6am, and so we would have the whole night to see the lights, the action, hail a yellow cab and perhaps even have time for a trip up the Empire State Building. It was hard to find things to do for such an awkward itinerary and so I hope that this will help anyone who has a quick stop over in the city.

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1. GO UP THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

The Empire State Building is open every night until 1am and going up such an iconic building is such a special thing to do it must be at the top of your list! The views over the city are spectacular and the lobby is gigantic. I loved seeing all the lights and the beautiful skyline. A truly magical experience.

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2. WALK AROUND TIMES SQUARE

Although Times Square is really great when it is bustling and full of people (including the Naked Cowboy), a night time tour of the theater district is really fun and spectacular. There will be few people so a great opportunity to get uninterrupted views and the lights will look really impressive. I loved seeing the warm air rise from the sewers, the yellow taxis flash past and the NYPD cop cars which for me looked just like toys. It was so exciting driving there too, as I loved seeing the large avenues all lite up and glowing. If possible ask your driver to go via the Brooklyn Bridge for a really special journey.

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4. EAT OUT

 Veselka is an East Village favorite among locals, visitors, and celebrities alike. They serve dumplings, crepes, soup, and coffee at all hours and it seemned that the guests were happy to engage in conversations about everything from art, to punk history, to socialism. Even better, it has wi-fi so that you can send a few pics and make a few status updates to make your best friends jealous! Midnight dates are popular at French Roast’s uptown and downtown locations. This French bistro offers plenty of hearty menu selections, like quiches, sandwiches, salads, and soups, 24 hours a day. If you want Chinese in China town then head to  Wo Hop one of the few places still open passed midnight.

5. GO SHOPPING

Around Times Square there are lots of shops which are open passed midnight, where you can buy some great souvenirs and clothes. This city never sleeps and a great example of this is at Kate Spade,which may have closed its doors, but allows shoppers to order anything from their catalogue via its touchscreen window and have it delivered by a courier at all hours. Stuck out in the rain at 2 a.m.? Order a cute umbrella (and maybe receive it from a cute delivery boy!).

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6. SEE THE LIGHTS AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER

One of the things we really wanted to see was the giant Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center, you know the one that features in Home Alone! The whole area is fantastic and the large sky scrapers looked really impressive. Angles lit the path and US flags blew in the wind. The ice skating rink looked beautiful and was illuminated, although it was closed. Sadly the big tree was there but it was shrouded in darkness as the lights are on but not all night. The other decorations still made the whole square rather spectacular though, so it was worth the short ride from Times Square.

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7. THE CHRYSLER BUILDING

Looming high up ahead we saw the diamond glass tip of this imposing building shinning like a star. The view at night of this incredible architectural wonder really reminded me of a scene from Batman and could very easily have been Gotham City itself. Walking up to the enormous jet black door was such an experience and to think that it was built almost 100 years ago now!

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8. WAVE GOODBYE TO CENTRAL STATION

We walked away from the Rockefeller Center and towards the very famous train station. It was closed but we could see in and the entrance to the station was magnificent in itself.

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9. LISTEN TO JAZZ

Head to Fat Cat which is open until 5 a.m and which is a great place to grab a beer for $3, lounge on the sofas, rent ping pong paddles, or challenge someone to a Scrabble or snooker game.

10. GET YOUR HAIR AND NAILS DONE

Still have got some time spare before you have to head back to the airport? Head to Hair Party 24 Hours for a manicure and hair styling party with your girlfriends. Check out the karaoke room in back while waiting for your nails to dry. Services are discounted between 6 a.m. and noon.

 

Now we just happened be  arrive right at the time of of the Arctic Freeze brrrrrr….so I wrapped up warm in a faux fur hat, a silk wool scarf and brown leather boots. If you go at night really make sure to really wear warm clothes, especially gloves. I made the mistake of removing mine and my fingers almost froze whilst I snapped away with the camera. Also I am heading back to NYC hopefully within this year, so please could you suggest any other must see places (whether day or night)?? Thanks xxx

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WEARING

Brown Faux Leather Boots – PRIMARK

Faux Leather Trousers – GUESS

Faux Fur Hat – ACCESSORIZE

Silk and Wool Scarf – PINGYAO VILLAGE CHINA

Black Wool Coat with Silk Lining – JOBIS

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Stars and Stripes

          The original plan had been to go bowling. I was determined to make up for my lack of skill and to wear something which would intimidate my opponents – for this reason I decided to an American flag design inspired t-shirt and  baggy cut out jeans. I combined it with a thin and very long gold chain, a black leather jacket and my leather mirror sneakers. I felt that these would make people think that I knew what I was doing and at the very least, they would be easier to do some physical exercise in than very tight clothes. I also felt that it was a good time  to wear something linked to America to mark and celebrate the beginning of NYC fashion week!

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In the end we went for brunch at such a special place that we ended up staying all day and well into the evening. It was secret London at its best, with the street having incredible restaurants, both a lively artisan market and world famous flower market, and one of London’s biggest parks three minutes walk away. It is so cool and so hipsterish that it makes Shoreditch look like a knocked off corporate hang out. Where is this hidden gem? Well, its called Broadway Market and is in Hackney next to London Fields. I loved the abstract graffiti by the artist Kefart and seeing all the people walk down the road with large bouquets of flowers from Columbia Flower Market.

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We had brunch (which is neither breakfast nor lunch but a mixture of both) at the Market Cafe, where I would highly recommend the Eggs Benedict and then, after a trip to the pub, we lay by the wild flowers at London Fields. It was such a great relaxing Sunday, in really good company and a great part of London which is off the tourist trail. I really can not recommend going there on a sunny Sunday enough! That was the main reason as to why we didn’t end up bowling… there was no need to go anywhere else, Broadway Market had everything and more! I can’t wait to go back next weekend!;)

WEARING

American Flag T- Shirt- FOREVER 21

Cut Out Jeans  – PRIMARK

Slip ons with Metal End   – STRADIVARIUS

lariat Stick Long Necklace – ACCESORIZE

Leather Jacket – ZARA

Earrings – BULGARI

Great Gatsby Fashion and Flapper Girl Attitude

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 Our party’s theme was 1920s inspired by The Great Gatsby and so it was vital that we should capture and dress in New Yorker’s style from this period. The young women of this era were a “new breed” who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. Flappers had their origins in the liberal period of the Roaring Twenties, the social, political turbulence and increased transatlantic cultural exchange that followed the end of World War I, as well as the export of American jazz culture to Europe. Their behavior was considered outlandish at the time and redefined women’s roles. In August of 1920, women obtained the right to vote. With this new feeling of power, hemlines became shorter and waistlines became looser. As the focus shifted from the war to social life, fashion became a high priority of the majority of woman during the time, which is evident in The Great Gatsby, which sees long descriptions of the glamorous styles of the party guests and their great concern for their appearance.

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Indeed, Daisy Buchanan in the novel The Great Gatsby is a perfect illustration of a woman in the 1920s. Married to a wealthy man, Daisy is portrayed as a stereotypical house wife with her good looks and aristocratic life style. Daisy is in love with her husband’s money and the simplicity and luxury of her living. It is wondered if Daisy is like a role model in this novel, but throughout the novel, she is perceived to be ditsy, boring, and an adulteress to Gatsby. Fitzgerald offers a suggestion to his readers about the blend of her personalities in this quote from the novel, “She’s got an indiscreet voice. It’s full of-” I hesitated. “Her voice is full of money.” Her love of appearance and shallow life values is seen by what she hopes her daughter will become: ” I hope she”s be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”

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My friend Estelle wore a short cropped wig to our themed party, as boyish cuts were in vogue, especially the Bob cut, Eton crop, and Shingle bob.She emulated the character Jordan from The Great Gatsby, a competitive golfer,  representing one of the “new women” of the 1920s—cynical, boyish, and beautiful. In the film Jordan wears sports clothes as a badge of her profession and her sensibilities. She is so progressive, she wears styles from the 1930s—a backless, floor-length evening gown, a capped sleeved blouse with a matching capelet, and pants. Yes, pants. These are not the pants worn as evening pajamas to beach resorts in the late 1920s. These are palazzo pants, much like the ones I wore to my cousin’s wedding last summer. Historians need not haggle over their accuracy. The pants are out of place, but the message is on point. Daisy wears white cotton dresses. Jordan wears pants.

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As Finger waving was used as a means of styling, I decided to get my hair done at the hairdressers. I was told that Finger waving was very time consuming (and therefore expensive) and so I opted for  a wavy curled look with a side plat. I later would bunch all the hair to one side so that it would look as if it had been pinned.

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Hats were still required wear and popular styles included the Newsboy cap and Cloche hat as worn by Daisy Buckanan in The Great Gatsby film. My friends wore headbands with flowers and encrusted jewels. For my look I went to my local charity shop and bought an art deco style pearl choker and layered on the beaded necklaces. I also wore long gloves with chunky rings over the top and put my mobile and money in a bright yellow Swarovsky encrusted clutch bag. At the time pins and brooches were also in style as were Horn-rimmed glasses and feather boas, which I loved. The boa was so soft, I might just wear one everyday and pretend that I am Miss Havisham.

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Flapper girl’s style largely emerged as a result of French fashions, especially those pioneered by Coco Chanel, the effect on dress of the rapid spread of American jazz, and the popularization of dancing that accompanied it. Called garçonne in French (“boy” with a feminine suffix), flapper style made girls look young and boyish: short hair, flattened breasts, and straight waists accentuated it. By at least 1913, the association between slim adolescence and a certain characteristic look became fixed in the public’s mind. At this early date, it seems that the style associated with a flapper already included the close-fitting hat, but a hobble skirt rather than one with a high hemline.

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Flapper dresses were straight and loose, leaving the arms bare (sometimes no straps at all) and dropping the waistline to the hips. Silk or rayon stockings were held up by garters. Skirts rose to just below the knee by 1927, allowing flashes of leg to be seen when a girl danced or walked through a breeze, although the way they danced made any long loose skirt flap up to show their legs. To enhance the view, some flappers applied rouge to their knees.Popular dress styles included the Robe de style. High heels also came into vogue at the time, reaching 2–3 inches (5–8 cm) high. For my outfit I wore a pink beaded sequin dress which is short and has net sleeves and combined this with short pink nude heels. Kinga wore  a beautiful lace top and flaoting ruffled dress with  a sequin head band and black boa.

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Flappers began working outside the home and challenging women’s traditional societal roles.They were considered a significant challenge to traditional Victorian gender roles, devotion to plain-living, hard work and religion. Increasingly, women discarded old, rigid ideas about roles and embraced consumerism and personal choice, and were often described in terms of representing a “culture war” of old versus new. Flappers also advocated voting and women’s right although many old suffragettes saw them as an insult to women’s emancipation. They were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles, and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms.

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An after thought for Leo…

In the 1920s New York, Old money and Tom Buchanan-types were losing their hold on American culture. Gatsby and his parvenus pushed the boundaries of “appropriate.” Bye-bye tailcoats. Hello tuxedos. In the extravagant party scenes, Luhrmann mixes the old guard with the new—a Western senator in a 10-gallon hat dances with a debutante; Ivy League boys wear white flannel pants and feel up film stars. Things are not trickling down anymore, Dr. Veblen. Fashions flourish in the strangest of places.  Tom wears a fitted, dark blue, double-breasted vest and suit coat. He is restrained. Gatsby sports that pink linen suit—a detail modern readers remember because of its connotations with gender. In its cultural context, however, the color was about class and about showiness. The pink suit—pinstriped and paired with a burgundy tie and gold collar bar­—reveals Gatsby’s true beginnings. Tom and Nick adhere to the kind of sartorial understatement their mummy taught them and they cultivated on green quads. The contrast between the blue blood and the bootlegger is striking – in 1920s New York, class was beginning to change.

WEARING

Pink 1920s Style Dress – MISS SELFRIDGE (available now on ebay)

Stone Pointed Court Shoes – NEW LOOK

String of Pearls – ACCESORIZE

White Gloves – AMAZON

Chunky Rings from local market

Art Decor Choker Pearl Necklace from Charity Shop

White Feather Boa – Fun Fancy Dress

And…Don’t forget you can now stay up to date with our adventures, travels and  outfits on my  social media 🙂

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Other dresses in 1920 style:

White Picket Frock – Grace Beaded Detail Gown

White Picket Frock – Lia Sequin Sleeve Mini Dress

White Picket Frock – Lace Bodice Gown

Blue Fly Taupe Stretch Embellished Sequin Pattern Dress

Frock and Frill Sequin Strappy Dress

Frock & Frill Belinda Sea Flapper Dress

Frock & Frill Athena Flapper Dress

John Lewis True Decadence Detail Dress – £50

Miss Selfridge Viola Blue Flapper Dress £112

Miss Selfridge Teal Flapper Dress £83.30

Kardashian Collection Frock and Frill Dress £135

Gatsby Dresses on Ebay