These 1920's Showgirl Costumes Will Make You Rethink The Athleticism of Burlesque

They just don't make stage costumes like they used to, right? I mean, what is a marijuana-print leotard compared to a pearl-encrusted headdress, anyway... It's like a scribble versus a Boticelli. This amazing collection of outfits from the 1924 Folies Bergere was featured in a stage program from one of the performances, available on Retronaut. The headpieces alone could fill a museum! While I can't say I envy the gals who had to trot around in the spotlight wearing them, trying one on is officially on my bucket list. Simultaneously, that one's filed away in "probably never gonna happen."

These luminescent, Art-Deco era outfits were crafted by a Parisian designer known in the trade as Erte. Born Rimon De Tirtoff, the Russian-born artist lived our his life in France where his career as a fashion designer and artist blossomed. He worked with the likes of Paul Poiret and went on to design the sets, costumes, and visuals for hundreds of revues, ballets and operas. And how could Erte not have a lengthy career? The ensembles from this show are mesmerizing! While Vegas showgirl gear may have grown into something far less artistic, these outfits give you a newfound reverence for the style. And think about how damn strong these girls had to be to dance in super heavy, pebble-studded clothing... Props to them. Check out all the looks after the jump!

Article Image via Retronaut

Chorus Outfits

Woah! There’s so much happening… It’s a constellation of fabulous. But as a side note, I would give up so many things for one of those little star helmets.

Image: Retronaut

Harlequin Ensemble

It part couture jumpsuit, part ice dance costume, and part Dr. Seuss…

Image: Retronaut

Pearly Mask Robe

Retro death eater chic.

Image: Retronaut

Detail of robe

Tight shot reveals a veritable grill of pearls.

Image: Retronaut

Deco Bodysuits

Actually, not a completely unwearable option.

Image: Retronaut