Bohemian lifestyle of the 1920's


By Sarah Taylor and Cody Butler


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Bohemian Style Dress
One of the women who helped the Bohemian style to becom the "thing" was Dorothy "Dorelia" McNeil, the lover of the painter Augustus John. Her full skirts and bright colours gave rise to the so-called "Dorelia look." A description of McNeil noted her "tight fitting, hand sewn, canary coloured bodice above a dark gathered flowing skirt, and her hair very black and gleaming, emphasizing the long silver earrings which were her only adornment."
Short bobbed hair was often a Bohemian trait as well. It originated from Paris in 1909 and had been adopted by students at the Slade School of Art in London. This style was plainly discernible on a woodblock self portrait of Dora Carrington. Trousers for women, sometimes worn mannishly as an expression of sexuality became popular in the 1920s and 30s, as did aspects of what many years later would sometimes be referred to as "shabby chic."