Jazz? Is it? What a coincidence that just as the La La Land is released, the astonishing 1920s Jazz Age exhibition at the Fashion and Textiles Museum (FTM) comes to an end. Alongside some incredible fashion designs there is this universally acknowledged fact that every end leads to a new beginning. Such is the case with the jazz era. It is a period of development and the FTM shows what it was like to live in the twenties.
Having walked around with the curator, the main point was made clear. Education is crucial. And that not only in terms of our children but also ourselves. The FTM has put a lot of effort into preparing this show. They spent 2,5 years working with Liberty on developing the most unique pieces to capture the golden era of the 1920’s.
It was a decade of change. Women were gaining power and dominance. This sense of movement is captured in the fashion they wore. In 1920s we witnessed changing colours, materials, structure, and visuals. It is also the first time when these developments were captured in film. Hollywood, London, Paris were the major hubs where the style exploded. And it was not only the drop-waist line. There was the tv, birth control, first commercial airline, …and the new outfits were mirroring that.
The lingerie was made of silk and relaxed corsets, PJs were booming. Exotic theme took full control of the scene. Romantic dressing were representing the feminine ideals. Car production flourished and people were having picnic, going to beaches & on cruises. Tea parties were an opportunity to wear hand made lace dresses with detailed application and colourful patterns. Sporty looks allowed movement whilst staying chic and classy. Fashion was becoming more affordable, yet scandalous. Hairstyles were shorter, sex was discussed more openly, people embraced fabulous dressing . (Hence velvet and sequence).
The rules of the picturesque fashion ruled: flatter busts and slim silhouettes. Cosmetics were booming. Ladies started shaving legs, curling eyelashes, and enjoying the men’s fun, such as the public smoking or playing sports. Trousers and tuxedos replaced stockings and full length skirts.
Up until the Great Depression, the relaxed fashion reflected the loosing morals. Swinging through the exhibition to the rhythm of Shimmy and Charleston allowed the visitor to fother about the everyday worries and fully enjoy the true atmosphere of the Fitzgerald’s era.