Harlem, New York fashion was a style popular in the 20s. It was a time when ladies dressed for lunch, white gloves were the norm, gentlemen wore ascots and never left home without a walking stick and top hat.
Harlem was a mecca for excitement and glamour. Flappers, chorus girls, jazz talent, club singers, and beautiful fashion were found everywhere. The rise of stars such as Lena Horne, Billie Holliday, Dorothy Danedridge, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughn and others led the way for the Harlem community to look up to these stars and emulate their fashion taste. Like today’s superstars, they influenced their fans to follow their fashion lead.
This was a time of prominence, elegance, good social upbringing and pride. Harlem debutantes were elegant and graceful. Their gowns were the height of fashion. Ophelia Devore taught young ladies the art of gracefulness to go with those beautiful dresses, and it was the birth of the Zoot Suit.