women

All That Jazz (part 1)

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- 5 Celebrities Who Don’t Pluck Their Eyebrows

The era of Wild parties is back. But is there a dark side?

As economies rise and fall teetering on the verge of collapse today’s world feels UN deniably insecure. And people like me (those of us in our 20s and 30s whose lives have been inextricably intertwined with globalization and the unending technological advances that accelerate our perpetual connectivity) are suddenly taken with nostalgia for a time when life seemed less complicated and, on the surface, at least, more fun: the 1920s.

Description: The era of Wild parties is back. But is there a dark side?

The era of Wild parties is back. But is there a dark side?

Runways in Paris, Milan and New York were dominated by ‘20s inspired spring/summer collections. Gucci showcased low-waist dresses with graphic beading. Veronica Etro’s waistless dresses featured prints of intersecting black, white and Nile-green lines inspired by the art-deco aesthetic of the era. Ralph Lauren had delicately glamorous pastel-coloured satin flappers, feather boas, cloche hats and boyish silhouettes.

Description: Gucci showcased low-waist dresses with graphic beading.

Gucci showcased low-waist dresses with graphic beading.

I called Sandi Bangasser, a former classmate of mine at The London School of Economics and Political Science, out of curiosity to see if she had noticed the Roaring Twenties trend rearing its head in Los Angeles, her new hometown. As it turned out, she had just bought a drop waist dress at H&M and was getting ready to go to her first ‘20s themed party at the Cicada Club, a historic art deco landmark. “I think people are seeking out trends from this era because it’s perceived as a more innocent time,” she explains. And, in fact, Roaring Twenties themed parties are popping up in Montreal, New York and Los Angeles, where people decked out in jazz Age garb dance the Charleston while mixologists concoct classic cocktails like gin fizzes and sidecars.

Description: As it turned out, she had just bought a drop- waist dress at H&M and was getting ready to go to her first ‘20s-themed party at the Cicada Club, a historic art- deco landmark.

As it turned out, she had just bought a drop waist dress at H&M and was getting ready to go to her first ‘20s-themed party at the Cicada Club, a historic art deco landmark.

“It was a time of optimism,” says Theresa Ebagua, the designer of high-end shoe line Chelsea Paris. Since founding her brand in 2010, Ehagua has made it her mission to infuse inspiration from the ‘20s into her collections of ankle-strap platform shoes, cone heeled booties and d’Orsay pumps. For her next season, the Nigerian born, American-based designer says that she will explore styles worn by women living in Paris in the 1920s. “I like the period because there was a [sense] of freedom,” explains Ehagua. “It was very, very feminine.”

Description: American-based designer says that she will explore styles worn by women living in Paris in the 1920s.

American-based designer says that she will explore styles worn by women living in Paris in the 1920s.

That very freedom was one of the goals of the feminist movement, which emerged in the ‘20s as women sought sexual and social liberation. They cut their hair, smoked in public and won the right to vote. And the independence that women wanted was totally embodied in the clothes they wore, says Teresa A. Carbone, the Andrew W. Mellon curator of American art at the Brooklyn Museum and the exhibition Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties. “Women were wearing looser fashions and shorter dresses. They were physically liberated,” she explains. “Younger women didn’t want to dress like their mothers.”

Description: “Younger women didn’t want to dress like their mothers.”

“Younger women didn’t want to dress like their mothers.”

Lisa Padovani, costume designer on the dark Prohibition-era HBO hit show Boardwalk Empire, notes that the same kind of youthful rebellion is happening again and what is striking about the fascination with the 1920s is that it’s mostly among people in their, well, 20s. “We just assumed that middle-aged or older people would watch this show, hut it seems to be the opposite,” she says. And feIlow Boardwalk Empire costume designer John Dunn agrees. “On the subway, I’m seeing young women wearing cloche hats,” says Dunn, who is based in New York, where the show is filmed. “When I walk around the East Village and Williamsburg, I’m seeing guys dressed in ties and vests and fedoras. That just wasn’t happening four years ago.”

Description: “We just assumed that middle-aged or older people would watch this show, hut it seems to be the opposite,” she says.

“We just assumed that middle-aged or older people would watch this show, hut it seems to be the opposite,” she says.

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