This is a mock-up of a chemise/pannier "under suit" for an upcoming production at the theatre I am currently working for. I spoke previously about the trend of panniers including their run in the 1920's here on my blog.
The 20's panniers sit lower (below the hip) than the 1700's versions, so I wanted to attach them to a chemise-like slip that the actress can wear under her costume. Since creating this piece I have been fascinated with the resurgence of panniers in the Roaring 20's. Despite the fashion trend of shorter skirts and less waist definition, panniers snuck their way into the fashion of the elite.
Upon more research I finally uncovered the skeleton of the trend; what these 20's panniers looked like. Surprisingly they appear rather light weight and very simple compared to their earlier ancestors. Below is an example of Warren's panniers found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met). I created my "under suit" before finding this reference piece. It is only a mock up so I may change over to this style of underpinnings instead. We shall see.
I also learned the name of the French designer who created the robe de style as her signature dress; Jeanne Lanvin. Many other couture houses picked up the trend, but Lanvin is most noted for her use of the silhouette. Many examples of House of Lanvin's robe de style can be found in the Met collection.
When most women showing up to a party or high society event were wearing the custom low waisted chemise dress, one can imagine walking in with this new trend would get a lady noticed. This "anti-flapper" dress as it has been nicknamed by some, makes quite a statement in an era when sleak was chic.
I hope you enjoyed learning about this trend of the 20's. The next time someone has a "Jazz Age" themed party you may decide to try this style to stand out from the crowd?