by Carol Harris and Mike Brown
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The 20th century was a time of tremendous technological progress, social change, and visual innovation. As women entered the workforce, they found greater freedom, developed new habits, and indulged in designer luxuries, all of which determined the kinds of accessories they used. For example, once women started smoking and applying makeup in public, their purses needed to hold such essentials as lipsticks, powder compacts, and cigarette cases. Designers responded to these consumer needs in many creative ways.
The design of accessories has even been influenced by contemporary archeological discoveries. In 1922, the opening of Tutankhamen's tomb sparked a trend for "Cleopatra"-style makeup, costume, and jewelry throughout the '20s and '30s.
Accessories charts the development of fashion headgear, purses, smoking accessories, footwear, and jewelry through this eventful century.