Wednesday, 15 February 2012

revisiting the glamourous 20s

Photobucket

Photobucket

Word on the street has it that the style of the twenties is going to be huge this year, and I for one couldn't be more delighted. Although the famously shapeless, drop-waist look we immediately associate with the era can be difficult to pull off, there's a lot of other inspiration to be had from the fashion, art and literature of that time.

Spurring on the resurgence are recent films Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen's tribute to and send-up of nostalgia, and The Artist, and Baz Luhrman's already hotly-anticipated version of The Great Gatsby, due out in December. Style-wise, The Artist was fantastic, and it also featured looks from the early 30s, when the severeness of the twenties' silhouette had relaxed a little, but when exquisitely-detailed simplicity was still the order of the day. I would wear Berenice Bejo's white dancing dress and dainty headpiece, below, in an instant.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Partly, the twenties are a satisfying decade to contemplate from a safe distance because the celebration of youth and exuberance was so overt, and yet always tainted slightly in retrospect by the knowledge that this was hedonism before a fall... with a decade-depression and the rise of fascism hovering in the wings. The American twenties are presented as being all jazz, dancing and sparkle (actually quite an accomplishment considering it was the era of prohibition) but reading the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald one is immediately aware of the pretense, closet alcoholism, fear of aging and even mental illness lurking behind a sea of golden-haired girls and rich men. It's the paradoxes of the era, and the joy and cynicism in equal measure, that makes them so magnetic...

Photobucket

Photobucket

15 comments:

Mary Lou said...

oh what a beautfiul post darling, i´m actually totaly obsessed with that decade and i think will wear my artdeco sequined jacket tomorrow;)
love and kiss,mary
http://maryloucinnamon.blogspot.com

Naomi said...

lovely post! i'm just working my way through the beautiful and the damned (for the first time!) and your analysis of Fitzgerald's depiction of the 20's is spot-on. the alcoholism, the fear of aging, etc. i'm really loving the revival of 20's inspired movies, too. what an incredible decade

Ashley said...

Nice post! I'm for some 20s style to mix it up in here! And I didn't know Baz was the one remaking The Great Gatsby. Should be a blast of a movie then!!

out of order said...

lovely post girlie, and now both my boyfriend and I are obsessed with finding that copy of the great gatsby - the cover is amazing! <3

Meghan

Closet Fashionista said...

I still need to see Midnight in Paris and I am SO excited for The Great Gatsby :D
I need to do some more research on the 20s, haha, I hardly remember anything from my history classes :p

http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

Shybiker said...

For Halloween this year, I'm dressing up as Peppy Miller! I loved "The Artist" and especially her outfits.

Kailey said...

Ahh such a gorgeous post *__* I am absolutely obsessed with the 20s, and list Cabaret as one of my favorite films. It was such a treat to read Goodbye to Berlin and immerse myself further into that era (with, as you said, the safe distance of now).

Marja said...

I LOVE the 1920's! I love the style and everything! I guess that why I love the show Downton Abbey! Have you ever heard? I think you would like it!
I'm look forward to seeing The Great Gatsby! One of my favorite actresses is in it, Carey Mulligan!!

Marja,
xoxo

Amber said...

couldnt agree more. I loved Midnight in Paris and have been trying to find clothes that resemble that era although the drop waist doesnt really look that great on me either. I am way to short for it to work.

nakedwomen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laura said...

I adore this post! It's funny - I don't much have the spunky personality of a flapper, and my body type isn't much for the severity of their clothes, but I am so fascinated by that era. I have a canary yellow flapper dress hanging up in my room and I often catch myself staring wistfully at it, wondering who first wore it and for what occasion...

thejoyfulfox.blogspot.com

Terri said...

Actually, I'm ready to try a dropped waist for a change. It's curious this nostalgia for the twenties...I hope it is not a portent of worse to come.

Norbyah said...

i already have my cloche hat.....loving it. and, i know i'm slow on this comment because it is meant for your last post, but i just have to say how much i admire you for keeping it real-cold sore and all-i love reading your blog. hope you're settling into your new home.
xo
n

Emily, Resplendent Tranquility said...

I have two drop-waist dresses hanging in my closet that I like to imagine look good on me, but, alas, I really should give them away. On the other hand, our little white J.Crew dresses should easily help channel some of the re-surging '20s sartorial energy :D

Virginie's Cinema said...

Awe, Jean Dujardin and The Artist ♥ !!!

Can't wait to see Gatsby either. Lovely post my friend!

Virginie ♥