Fashion changed greatly during the 1920’s, as we all know, and Madame Koska and the Imperial Brooch had the fashion scene as the background to the story. I did not have a proper fashion show in the book, since the action took place while Madame Koska’s establishment was preparing for its first London show, and was rudely interrupted by crime!
In the next book, on which I am working now, the fashion show will definitely occur. As I was researching for it, I found wonderful, authentic old films, showing elegant fashion shows, and I thought the readers might be interested in seeing them.
The venue was most important. It was essential for the fashion house to have the shows in large, beautiful, airy and brilliantly lit rooms. They had to be in a central and respectable area, so the great ladies would not hesitate to come, refreshments were served, and music might be unobtrusively played in the background. Often the flower arrangements, silverware, and decorations were stunning.
What I find extremely interesting is that the “mannequins,” as the models were called, were not always professionals. Often, young society ladies volunteered for the job, particularly if there was a charity involved, but even for regular shows, if the fashion house was sufficiently famous. It was considered a fun thing to do for a modern, emancipated young woman!
These links are only a few of the wonderful films available – there are plenty more if you are interested!