The grand extravagance came to an end at the beginning of World War One and the issue of the poor became a hot topic throughout European, intellectual circles. Because of the war effort and the highlight on those suffering in society, many elites chose not to flaunt such grand fashions in public and hence the grand fashions of old suddenly became unacceptable. From the 1920s onward, dress and fashion had become more subdued and tame. The 1920s also witnessed the women’s movement for voting rights and more women were entering the workforce; therefore, the demand for practical and simplistic fashion grew popular because many women saw the fashions of their mothers and grandmothers as a repressive tool that was not practical for women and were tailored according to men’s desires. A good example is the corset which was meant to exude the popular hourglass figure, a mostly male standard.
Grand fashion created a dream-life that many middle class women of the Victorian and Edwardian era had hoped to achieve. In today’s society, it is easy for people in a post-modern world to sit back and gaze in awe of Edwardian fashion and there is nothing wrong with being attracted to such beauty. In a wider context, however, women who sported such royal fashions were very lucky given how tough life was for not only women of poorer classes, but people of different ethnicity around the world.