Furs, drape suits and beaded dresses
Furs, drape suits and beaded dresses

Furs, drape suits and beaded dresses

When it comes to American fashion, it is hard not to mention the illustrious Harlem Renaissance.

This glorious art movement was an integral moment in time during the early 20th century when there was an exciting cultural resurgence of everything from exciting music and dance to inspiring style and literature centered at the heart of Upper Manhattan.

While this time has come and gone, the unique allure and glamour of the fashion that came from it live on.

“Good Morning America” tapped fashion and costume historian Shelby Ivey Christie to highlight a few of the era’s most standout styles.

Ahead, see, learn and shop a few of these timeless Harlem Renaissance-inspired ensembles that can be worn today, tomorrow and forever.

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Fur coats

PHOTO: FILE - Josephine Baker (Ullstein Bild Dtl./ullstein bild via Getty Images, FILE)

PHOTO: FILE – Josephine Baker (Ullstein Bild Dtl./ullstein bild via Getty Images, FILE)

Through the years, fur coats have continued to be an aspirational piece for Black women. Prominent figures such as Josephine Baker and many others would be seen wearing the highly coveted topper. While many Black families were initially held back from owning property by Federal Load Codes, alternative items such as fur coats became a stylish way to showcase personal and generational accomplishments. It’s also a beloved item that’s still often passed down in many Black families.

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Drape suits

The famed Londo drape suits of the early 1930s were a go-to style that features a broad padded shoulder and nipped waist look — giving the upper body a V-shaped look. Initially popularized by the Duke of Windsor, Edward VIII, it later became known as the “zoot suit,” and was worn by youth culture as well as historical figures and musicians such as Louis Armstrong.

PHOTO: FILE - Louis Armstrong and his Savoy Ballroom Five (L-R) Zutty Singleton on drums,Mancy Carr on guitar and banjo, Jimmy Strong on clarinet, Fred Robinson on trumbone, Louis Armstrong on trumpet and Gene Anderson on piano pose for a photo in Chicago (Donaldson Collection/Getty Images, FILE)

PHOTO: FILE – Louis Armstrong and his Savoy Ballroom Five (L-R) Zutty Singleton on drums,Mancy Carr on guitar and banjo, Jimmy Strong on clarinet, Fred Robinson on trumbone, Louis Armstrong on trumpet and Gene Anderson on piano pose for a photo in Chicago (Donaldson Collection/Getty Images, FILE)

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MORE: 21 Black-owned brands to shop today, tomorrow and forever

Beaded dresses

Following the popular culture surrounding ancient Egypt in the 1920s and 1930s, design trends such as Art Deco and beaded looks took center stage. This trend also extended to many women during the Harlem Renaissance. Notables such as blues singer Bessie Smith would be seen wearing gorgeous gowns covered in beautiful beading and embroidery as well as amazing headdresses.

PHOTO: FILE - Blues singer Bessie Smith poses for a portrait circa 1922 in New York City, New York. (Edward Elcha/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images, FILE)

PHOTO: FILE – Blues singer Bessie Smith poses for a portrait circa 1922 in New York City, New York. (Edward Elcha/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images, FILE)

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A look back at Harlem Renaissance fashion: Furs, drape suits and beaded dresses originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com

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