Friday, 23 March 2012

The Roaring Twenties by Josephine Sherwood

The Roaring Twenties. A hotbed of high-living, excess and style

Fashion evoked the prosperity of thepost-war era and the flapper girl was born in a frenzy of excitement and lawlessness.

She represented a new woman who was able to enjoy the hard-won freedom that the suffragettes fought for. She disregarded Edwardian sensibilities in favour of hard liquor, cigarettes and raucous parties.

The restrictive attire of the previous decade was abandoned and the shift-dress became the signature garment, complimented by a sleek, androgynous bob-cut. The flapper look was characterized by its masculine influence, symbolizing a significant shift in social mores.

One of the foremost pioneers of Twenties fashion was Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel.

Her designs instigated a reinvention of women’s fashion as she sought to “let go of the waistline” and rid the strictures of the past. The cumbersome dresses of the belle époque were reinvented into loose, sleeveless designs embellished with beads to create a more simplistic, modern look. Her innovative vision was to revolutionise the face of fashion forever and establish the modern woman as stylish, intelligent and self-sufficient. 

This New Woman eschewed preconceived ideals of femininity, made a stand against authority and exerted her independence. 

What made Twenties fashion so exciting was that it was reactionary. It evolved from the desires and new-found identity of women rather than the constraints and requirements of society. It stood for change and liberation, complementing the concurrent onset of a moral revolution. The flapper style continues to make its presence felt today.

The 2012 adaptation of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic The Great Gatsby has initiated a revival of Twenties glamour.

Heroine of The Great Gatsby

From Ralph Lauren’s exquisite feathered gowns to Gucci’s geometric Art Deco inspired flapper dresses, Spring 2012 marks a rediscovery of Jazz-Age elegance.

So keep an eye out for faux-fur trim, sequin embellishment and chiffon in high-street stores to create a show-stopping party look and embrace the timeless glamour of the Roaring Twenties.

Author: Josephine Sherwood

Editor: Adel Delis