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The 1920s Berlin Project

Jo Yardley

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As others seem to be promoting their sims I thought it would be ok for me to do so as well.

I am a Historical Consultant for movies, tv and museums in RL and am obsessed with history, I just love it.

During my travels in SL I missed realistic, authentic historical roleplay sims, there were a few that looked very nice but generally the sims and the roleplaying was a little too romantic.
Buildings were very pretty and people enjoyed portraying rich ladies and gentlemen.

I missed the narrow streets, the muck in the dark corners, the poor people, etc.

I decided to build my own sim; The 1920s Berlin Project.

The theme is, as the title suggests, 1920s Berlin.
This old city has always had a very interesting and exciting history but in the 1920s, shortly after the horrendous First World War, it entered an era like no other.

The world changed dramatically, progress brought Jazz, flappers, zeppelins, movies, radios, short dresses (shock horror!), more freedom, liberty, etc..
BUT in Berlin all these new things spread like a virus and were enjoyed in more extreme ways then any other country.
Freedom, drug use, prostitution, tolerance, liberation, modern art, it all happened.
Berlin was the place to be!
And no prohibition... ;)

It was a golden age of music, entertainment, art... but also a dangerous and scary time of unrest, frustrations and extreme politics.
Riots in the streets, Communists, Nazi's, Anarchists... poverty, addictions, crime...
People were dancing, but they were dancing on top of a vulcano.


Our 1920s Berlin Project sim is a roleplay sim that tries to recreate a little bit of this vibrant history.
With the limited options SL offers us we have rebuild some of the famous parts of the city center that you can explore as a tourist.

You arrive at our small 'Teleportplatz' where you can shop at some of the best vintage shops in SL, you can buy great vintage clothing but of course there are also plenty of excellent freebies, even a free 1920s car!

Once you've changed into a 1920s outfit (one of our rules) you can enter the train and travel to Berlin.
There is too much to see to mention, cinema, shops, offices, buildings, Unter Den Linden, the only 1:1 scale reproduction of the Brandenburg gate in SL, bathhouse (with pool), the famous Hotel Adlon,  but also the darker side of the city with poverty and sinful delights ;)

We are a very strong community, some of our tenants have lived with us for almost 2 years, often you have to wait for weeks or even months before apartments become available.
Roleplay often reenacts nothing more then daily life in 1929, but sometimes it gets dramatic with murder, intrige, riots and mysteries.
We have many jobs and vacancies for anyone who wants to make a living in our city.
Realism, authenticity and history is what we aim for.

We have some great events, EVERY day at 2 pm slt we have a little Happy Hour at the Tanzlokal 'Der Keller' where you can drink, chat and dance to our original 1920s (ad free) music stream.
But we also have church services, theatre shows, cabaret, dance balls, etc, etc.

Sunday the 10th we have Relaxed Rules day, for 24 hours we forget about our strict dress code and will allow people in modern clothing and non-realistic avatars.
Great excuse to come and have a look if you don't like changing outfit or avatar.
And on any day you can take an airship tour over the city and see it from above without changing your outfit, you can find out more about this at the Teleport Station.

More about our sim;

Here our flickr Photo group;

And finally, you can find our sim here;



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Mmmmh what kind of advice?

All I can say is; just do it ;)

What I generally do is think up a little background story for the person I am while visiting the sim.

In 1920s Berlin I am a Dutch woman who married a German man who died during the war, left behind as a war widow I managed to scrape some money together and open a bar.

Ask yourself who you are, why you are in Berlin and what you want to do there.

Visit the Happy Hours and try and meet the other people of the city, listen to their stories, share yours.

We are a daily life sim, that means much of the time you can enjoy re-enacting daily life; shopping, drinking coffee on Unter Den Linden, cleaning your house, finding a job, etc.

Life can be harsh in 1929 so sometimes it is a struggle for survival.

Getting to meet as many people in the neighbourhood as possible is the best tip I can give you.

Also, we're having a Spring Ball this saturday, always a good moment to meet new people :)

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April 9th 1929

You are hereby invited to the annual Sommerfrische Ball in Berlin today.

Every spring rich people prepare to leave the city and spend the summer in their country houses.
Most of us will have to spend summer in the narrow hot smelly streets of Berlin but we too celebrate this time of year with a Ball!

The Ball is today.

We will gather at Schinkelpark at 1 pm slt where we will celebrate the coming of spring with a toast from a big barrel of brand new almost cold Schnapps!

At 2 pm we all move to the prestigious Hotel Adlon in our best outfit and we dance till we fall over.

The social event of the city where you have to be seen.



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Today we are having 'Relaxed Rules Day' in 1920s Berlin.

Normally we have very strict rules in our sim to maintain the historical theme of our sim, but just today everyone is welcome!

So even if you don't want to wear 1920s clothing, if you dont want a realistic avatar, if you are a furry or any other kind of avatar that normally wouldn't be part of 1920s life, you're welcome to come and explore our sim today!

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Hi :)

Hm, i went there with a black and white retro dress and some wachtmeister told me it wasn't 20' Very weird. I came to the conclusion that the overall experience isn't really realistic.

Not because of the remark to me, but what i see is a mis interpretation. It seems a very American way of looking at it. The European 20's (Weimar) was indeed different from the American '20's look. I was informed a historic consultant had been involved. This was a bit of a surprise to me as i could not really see it.

My family is German and i am well aware of that era. Especially during that Weimar decade the women dressed very more open, the brassiere had been introduced, far above knee skirts (and even mini), fishnet nylons et cetera. Black and White dresses had been introduced from Parisien couturiers 

In America, short and open dresses were less done and the more US style dressing was followed. I think it may have to do with the more puritane look at it from the other side of the pond, perhaps.

But anyway, the sim is claimed to be successful, but very strict on their way of looking at European 20's which is a bit off when it comes to outfits. The dress code is Chicago 1920, not actual Weimar 20's But perhaps it's just play there.

I could not convince the wachtmeister. Perhaps Freud was more than correct when he claimed that if people have a deep believe in something they will be hardly open for new information, specially when a consultant was hired for it. It is what i see often, specially in sl, but also rl. 

Anyway, nice Sim, but realistic? No not when it comes to dressing i'm affraid. A-typical Chicago, yes.

I do wish all the best with the sim and i hope you could be more open to really real couturier trends from that particular era other than the very fixated "Chicago style" one in the project.

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I am the builder of the sim and in RL I am a historical consultant for movies, tv, museums, authors, etc.
I am European and also have a German family, some of whom lived trough the 1920s, told me their stories and showed me their pictures.
My research is only based on real 1920s German information.

Over the last 2 years we have had a LOT of discussions and done a LOT of research about what kind of clothing would be authentic and realistic.

Generally we are very tolerant and sometimes look the other way when clothing is a bit too early, a bit later or sort of looks ok.

I have just read about your encounter and seen a snapshot of your outfit.

I am sorry to say I have not seen women on 1920s photos wearing outfits like yours, in Berlin, Europe or even America.
Nylon stockings didn't make it to Europe till 1945 and most women didn't even get those till the 1950s.
Just like the miniskirt.

I would have acted the same if I had encountered you myself.

The wachtmeister asked you to proof him wrong, you didn't.

Yes I know there were flappers, who sometimes dared to wear slightly shorter dresses that would show the knees, however this was only done for a very short time, skirts soon became longer again.

Of course they wore much more exciting clothes when going out or when on stage as a Siegfield Folly, but walking around the streets showing your thighs was just not very common.

Our dresscode is 1920s, we generally don't care if you wear something American or European, or even early 1930s or something a bit earlier.
The freebies and many of the shops there do however make clothes especially for the theme and the sim.
One of the best and well known vintage designers in SL, Sonatta Morales, has made several authentic dresses for our sim.
A proper couturier.

I have many 1920s Weimar images and again, no women walking around the streets showing off more then their thighs, if you have such images, I'd love to see them.

Here is a nice real 1920s Berlin photo showing Police checking two ladies to see if their dresses are not too short... I can't even see the knees.

Police in 1920s Berlin checking length of dresses

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Hi Jo, thank you for the reply.

It is your build i suppose. The project sets the rules based on all research you have done and your idea.

If you go so strict that it must match exactly what your research had been about and dresses to be worn in the streets as per your photo's it would be a sheer impossibility for visitors to follow the exact rules. Not everybody likes to pick up freebie offerings for forced dress codes exactly as you have projected them from your idea and what you prefer.

Indeed i was referring to a wider perspective on fashion in that Weimar era. The normal public would wear what you are showing in the streets. That is not what i was referring about. I love upmarket European couturiers which had a very different clientelle, even then. They had a major impact on vibrant cities like Berlin. No you would not see it on your regular photo's in the streets i very much agree.

The photo i included was for a party scene as just another example. Not from the streets no.

If i was to wear no nylons very well... However, this is to be an never ending story. It is your project, you set the rules ;)

It is mostly roleplay there i do now understand, ok. I came with a wider historic mind, so sorry.

Perhaps a broader more less singular minded approach would be considered for that sim. But again, you there set the rules there ;)


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We are not strict at all, we are very relaxed when it comes to the clothes and as I said sometimes accept 1930s clothes or older stuff.
If our sim was any "broader minded" then it already is the 1920s theme would fall apart.
But yes we aks people to be realistic and authentic for the streets of 1920s Berlin (as visitors are told), after all the streets of Berlin is what you will be walking on.

But your outfit was simply too short for the 1920s.

I did not make the freebies but they match the fashion of the era and there are lots of shops there that offer clothes that are good as well.
It has nothing to do with my ideas, but with the result of much research.

What you were wearing was also not uprmarket European, especially the couteriers of the time ignored the short flapper style (often considered a bit common) and went back to longer dresses.

Even at parties women didn't wear skirts that short unless they were on stage or if they made their money in a way ladies don't discuss in public.

The photo you send to us was a picture of a modern flapper style dress from a fancy dress shop, very loosely based on the flapper dresses of the 1920s but not very authentic and not representative for what women wore back then.

The photo you have just posted here doesn't look authentic either, what is your source?

Nylons didn't make it to Berlin till after WW2, women wore silk, cotton or even woollen stockings with a seam, but no worries we don't even check that.

It has nothing to do with who made the sim or the rules.
It has to do with you claiming all sorts of things and saying we don't know what we are talking about, that our sim is not authentic and that our dresscode is not based on realism.
It is and if it is not I would love you to proof me wrong so we can adapt our rules.
I have been making a living doing research for the last decade and would love to find new stuff I have not seen before.

Our sim is a HIstorical sim, roleplay is a sidenote.

Here is a Flickr Group about German 1920s Fashion, please feel free to upload any 1920s photos you have or send them to me and I'll upload them for you.
I look forward to seeing them.


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Never ending story... lol

Well i wasn't claiming to be wearing an upmarket dress when i visited. I was saying that there is a  broader view on the matter at that particular time. If your project then falls apart... well, by all means that is not what you want, i do understand.

I didn´t know it was going to be a race about authentic pictures. I can impossibly start to upload old private family photos from a family heritage collage book here sorry.

Who makes a living out of what doesn´t make me more interested or to look up to. My grand parents are from that era from Germany, i just know their stories, and see photos of a historic family member wearing short skirted, above knees and showing upper leg 1/2 way much like the picture i included, that's all.

I am just trying to tell you something... lighten up... and stay open for new inseights, rather than stick to a rather academic style that proof first must be claimed a 1000 times and then still not believed, ending up in a very fixated view.

But again if the project falls apart for you, that is what you do not want. 

So sorry to have interrupted. 

Just do stay open for inseights and explore them however. No knowledge in life is fixed, for nobody. And life is not always about hard direct proof ;)

This is it i'm affraid, feel free to respond furhter, but i have to start my dinner. 

We both go our own way then ;)

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You can very simply end the story by proving me wrong.

There is no broader view on the matter, people wore something in the 1920s or they didn't, I say they didn't wore what you wore, you say they did.

There is no race, I am simply trying to ask you to share your information with me so I can see where we do it wrong.

Can you answer my question?
What is the source of the picture above?

If you can't or won't then the story ends as well because if you can't back up what you are saying my interest in your opinion will end.

You tell me to lighten up after you publically state that a sim we spend a lot of work, time and money on is not realistic and that you can't see that a historical consultant has worked on it?
Well maybe I am a little to proud to take such things lightly.

Nobody is talking about academic research, claiming something 1000s of times, there is no contest, no race, there doesn't even have to be a discussion.
All I am asking for is some 1920s photos supporting your view!
Is that too much too ask?
If women were walking around with skirts as short as yours it should be easy to find a picture, even outside your family photo album.
I can't find any on the dozen 1920s family albums I own.

History is very simple when it comes to a statement,  back it up with evidence it or be ignored.

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Some folks think "Some Like It Hot" was an accurate depiction of the 1920s... it clearly wasn't but that doesn't stop the "experts". I'm not a historic consultant but I *am* rather knowledgeable about 1920s fashions and mores, and I *know* Jo 's views on fashion are accurate - I can support that with hundreds of photos (staged and candids) from the 20s. I'm proud to be a very small part of a very accurate sim...

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Ooook, here we go...

It is not what i think, it is what i know from photos in our family book, the stories ancient family told me as a child and what i do see on the internet as well for you to have a better understanding. Again you can't expect me to take our book apart and scan it. 

So no i do not think at all that the 20's was party and roar only, that was not my point. My point is there is more to discover for you and refrain more from your fixated perspective alone.

From a French magazine 1928... Indeed not Berlin, however see the shortage of the dress and how open it was designed... Plus Paris came with nylons yup :) My German overgrandmom even had them at 1929.le-sourire-glamour-magazine-france-1920.jpg

Berlin, 1920, TauentzienStraße. 



My point... your view simply is a very singular one... I was about to come to the project wearing a black dotted dress btw, and then i did choose the black white which you have seen wearing me.

But hey it is your party and something deeply fixed in your brain i simply can't take away, but i do my best to feed you with more accurate info and above all... a broader view about that time.

I did see your Flickr pool btw, but i didn't see actual rl dresses, just a lot of sl fantasy which is fine, but i expected rl pictures there.

You can choose to live in your dream and have as many ppl follow your game and believes aknowledgde them (i would not expected something else), but i just know different... 

It would be a grandeur style attitude from your side to be a bit more tolerant to extended information, specially from ppl from who'm ancesters came from the Weimar era.

But ok, enough said... really.

Do enjoy your fantasy which sl is all about ;) I know now it isn't the place for me to come from a broad historic point of view.

We can keep on posting and see who wins with all followers, but i don't very much see the point.

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It is not about what any of us think, it is about historical facts.

I use many sources, many family photo albums, talk to eye witnesses, etc.
I know where my opinion on this subject comes from.

You show me a french naughty drawing saying nothing about the reality back then.
And nylons didn't make it to Europe after WW2.
Your family member is probably talking about silk, synthetic silk or Perlon stockings.
Even in America they were not generally available till 1940.
Either way, a naughty French picture has not much historic value as research.

I have many vintage photo albums, some from 1920s Germany, I did scan them (no need to take them apart) and put them online.
As long as we can't see your album it has no value for the sake of this discussion.

Yes, my view is singular; all I care about is being slightly authentic.

There is nothing "in my brain" you need to take away, I am talking about history here, authenticity, accuracy and facts.

I have no idea what flickr pool you are talking about, here is the one I suggested you'd take a look at;
All real 1920s pictures, all German:
You posted one of those photos just now, the only photo you've posted so far that is real 1920s and German, and it doesn't show any thighs on display.

I will be EXTREMELY "tolerant to extended information" if the information had any value at all.

My ancestors too lived in the Weimar era, I have interviewed people who lived trough it, I have seen their and many other people their photo's, many of them are online in that group I just suggested.

As long as you keep suggesting I am wrong (while I keep posting actual historical images) and that you somehow know something nobody else does (while you keep posting images that proof very little) I will keep responding.
All I have ever asked you for is some actual historical facts and I am still waiting.

Because you are also suggesting our sim and our clothing there are all fantasy and the sim is not very realistic and that simply is not true.

I am sure there is plenty wrong about the sim and I am sure not all clothes there are perfect authentic, but you have yet to mention anything that is actually fact based.

Everything you have been saying could be turned around and said to you.

So share something that is actually a real 1920s photo of someone walking around in an outfit like yours and I will gladly admit you're right.

If you don't, perhaps it is time for you to try and imagine you may not be.

I don't care about followers or winning a discussion, I am just curious about the evidence you mention that would explain why you slander my and my sim.

Discussing this any further indeed has no point as you seem unwilling to accept anything I show you or tell you and you seem to have a problem sharing anything factual.

Please feel free to post some real pictures that support your theory, there is really no need to post anything else.


And here my final gift to you, 1 hour of historical authenicity, filmed in Berlin 1927.

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