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Nan Goldin : Heart Shaped Bruise

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Flapping their wings and learning to fly

I like that it has taken until 2011 for the twenties to come roaring back into the high street. Yeah I know that Betty Boop did it in the 90s and 2008 saw a little spurt of flapper but thanks to Boardwalk Empire it is now blooming under the spotlight.


  The twenties made less curvy women feel attractive, boyish figures were in and I think thats what I have always admired about the fashion at that time. Its hard to make sharp shapes and straight lines look soft. Thanks to Coco Chanel's shocking rejection of the long haired corsetted image the first rebellion of femininity was born. Waistlines dropped, skirt lengths rose and the bob was born. Women were liberated and in that time leading up to World War II; drinking, smoking, dancing even voting for christ sake!

Scandals were rife in this age of revolution and non chalance, and though most would hardly touch the front cover of todays glossies, at the time these were shocking events. Affairs, love-ins and petting parties were run of the mill and the concept of 'The Flapper' was born; The new breed of western woman who drove,listened to jazz,and wore what was seen as excessive make up. The young women leaving the 'nest' flapping their wings, learning to fly were seen as a major threat to society. Embracing consumerism, freedom of choice disgarding the rigidity of the Victorian rules set by their parents.

   I remember watching movie ' Bright Young Things', A British, camp affair centred round the aftermath of the twenties cultural revolution.Its a perfact example of the care-free, partying madness that was all the rage -until the war- in late 20s London, a beautiful and touching film its well worth a watch if you like this little pocket of hedonistic history as much as I do.

 The hedonism of the 20s was quashed when the great depression hit after the Wall St crash and the crushing economic hardship of the 30s . Times change and along with them priorities, but I like that there was this first glint of cultural freedom long before the summer of love and the swinging sixties.

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