For the August issue of 1923 , I turned to illustrations of fashion of the time. 1920s fashion drawings are iconic, especially the slinky dresses and head coverings most closely associated with the flapper era. In order to get more of a feel for the day-to-day life in the era, I wanted to use as source material not just high fashion covers and silent film footage, but the sections of women's magazines that address topics like home sewing and what's currently in stores.

In particular, I dug through old issues of Good Housekeeping and Ladies' Home Journal , both founded in the 1880s and near the height of their powers in the 1920s. The Journal was actually the first American magazine to reach one million subscribers in 1903, and Good Housekeeping passed that milestone in the mid-1920s. They comprise two of the "Seven Sisters," a collection of women's magazines recognized as a major force in in American publishing in the 20th century.

The pages of the zine focus on the illustrations, but the text that ran alongside them paints an evocative picture of the era. Decades before the era of fast fashion, trends are presumed to be (at least) a season long, and many of the articles include tips and tricks on modifying existing clothes the reader might already have in her closet to match the latest looks.

The copies of the magazine I used for this issue all come form the ProQuest Women's Magazine Archive, which is not, as far as I know, freely available online. (That may be unique in this project so far!) I accessed the database through the New York Public Library, and your local university or library may also have access.

Download this issue as pdf.