Sunday, November 15, 2009

Flapper Dress: 101 + Female Writers of the 1920's



To paraphrase the Austin Eavesdropper, tomorrow night is when gardening meets Gatsby at The Liberty bar in East Austin.  This means it's time to break out the fringe, feathers, and fedoras to go out on the town and have a "hotsy-totsy" good time.  I love dressing up, I love sustainable gardening, and I certainly love a party.  Also, keeping in mind that once an English teacher, always an English teacher: I love female writers of the roaring twenties. 



Dorothy Parker - Often recognized as a member of the Algonquin Round Table, Dorothy Parker is an author who is often quoted but too little read.  She had a sardonic wit, a tumultous love life, and a busy pen, seeing as she wrote short stories, novels, poems, screen plays, magazine articles... a sad theme of her work was typically along the lines of "you're born, you think life is great, really it sucks, then you die," but in between the start and the finish, she's really funny and painfuly astute.

Zelda Fitgerald - "The Flapper awoke from her lethargy of sub-deb-ism, bobbed her hair, put on her choicest pair of earrings and a great deal of audacity and rouge and went into the battle. She flirted because it was fun to flirt and wore a one-piece bathing suit because she had a good figure ... she was conscious that the things she did were the things she had always wanted to do. Mothers disapproved of their sons taking the Flapper to dances, to teas, to swim and most of all to heart." - Z. Fitzgerald, 'Eulogy of the Flapper.'  A dancer, a writer, a drunk, a hell-raiser, a muse, and an entrenching subject of biography

Gertrude Stein - While I don't understand her tender-buttons type writing, I felt like The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas was peeking into a 1920's Paris salon through a telescope.  I have monolithic respect for a lady who didn't need a man to take care of her, kept the egos of the day in check, was a proprieter of art and literature, and didn't feel the need to follow the rules of "ladylike" behavior.



So, in celebration of the flapper era and the swell women who occupied it, here are my tips to dressing up like a genuine, renaissance lady of the roaring twenties:

1) High-heeled, strappy shoes with round toes.
2) Strings and strings of faux-pearl necklaces.
3) Swirly skirts, drop waist dresses, sleeveless blouses, sequins, and fringe that emphasizes the swing of your hips when you do the Charleston.
4) GIN.  (bathtub optional).

These are items I dug out of my closet, but if you want a true education on dressing in vintage style, then it is imperative that you visit the Vintage Vivant herself: a fellow Austinite, and also a former Arkansas girl (and U of A alum, too!) Amelia.  You can find her at Toy Joy, her daily fashion blog, or at her Etsy shop, where you can purchase hand sewn, lovely, (and sometimes naughty), items, such as this tidy-cloth.  Also be sure to read her post on how to apply 1920's style makeup, it's very important for proper appearances tomorrow night!



It seems only appropriate to end this particular post the following way:

My candle burns at both ends;



It will not last the night;


But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--


It gives a lovely light!
 
Because first and foremost, Edna St. Vincent Millay is my homegirl.  See you tomorrow!

3 comments:

wenny3kiwi said...

wow i like the first and the last pic

very vintage look and that amazing

daniela said...

there will indeed be cupcakes at the cupcake meet-up. :)
here's the RSVP link, check out for details: http://www.meetup.com/Austin-Cupcake-Meetup/calendar/11762580/

come if you can! the more, the merrier!

That Chelsea Girl™ said...

I can't wait to see photos of the actual event! I love the Great Gatsby..."I've been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library."

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