Vintage circus style inspiration

Vintage circus style inspiration
01/12/2017 Alicia L.

If the circus is the best example of a show, the vintage circus is the great spectacle par excellence.

The romantic view of the circus life has inspired many designers, artists, and photographers for years.

Talented people wearing wonderful costumes, vibrant colors, glitter, feathers… pure fantasy, what more could you ask for?


Pierrots, theatrical makeup, ruffs, bold stripes, feather headdresses, beaded fringes, sequins, ringmaster jackets, harlequin diamonds patterns… all serve to recreate the flamboyant idea of the circus, usually mixed with a strong feeling of decay and nostalgia


Throughout the years we have seen how the most prestigious fashion designers put this influence on the catwalk: Valentino, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen…

circus vintage

Matthew Williamson, Manish Arora, Valentino

Also, many fashion editorials have taken elements of the vintage circus life in its most glamorous variant: burlesquers, curiosities, freak shows, stunning tents from the 1920s and 1930s, a whole embellished ideal that surely will continue to influence creative people in the future. 

vintage circus

Gareth Pugh/ Alexander McQueen for Givenchy / Christian Dior

It’s Showtime Ladies and Gentlemen. Roll up roll up and leave your ordinary selves behind!

Be transported back to a bygone era and step into the magical world of Circus and its eclectic troupe of misfits and marvels.

Comments (7)

  1. petitplat 3 years ago

    Love those!
    You should check out the costume made at the Bauhaus by Oskar Schlemmer!

    • Author
      Alicia L. 3 years ago

      Thanks for this suggestion! Yesss, it is amazing!! 😀

  2. Star of the East 3 years ago

    I love circus inspired stuff!!

  3. Ruby 3 years ago

    I find it hard to watch the extreme flexibility of many circus acts but when I do peep behind my hands, they are very talented. Beautiful mood board Alicia!

  4. millie 3 years ago

    i love vintage circus! Old pictures of circus look absolutely amazing!

  5. Ildi 3 years ago

    I just have never thought about relation between circus and fashion. You are right, it is an amazing inspiration:))

  6. Наталья 3 years ago

    Thanks for a great selection

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