Recently I have become obsessed with everything twenties-esque. My interest was peaked in the Fall semester during my Canadian Literature class where we learned about the Modern literature era. A few Modernist writers you may recognize are: Ezra Pound (named founder of the Modernist movement), Ernest Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises), F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby), and James Joyce (The Ulysses). Pound became famous for his mantra “Make it New!” – which summed up Modernism perfectly and simply. You see, Modernism was a movement that felt traditional styles of poetry, paintings, and literature were not appropriate for the new political, economical, and societal conditions that were on the rise during the beginnings of industrialization. The twenties may also be known as the jazz age…a time for dancing, partying and nonstop fun (do you see now why I’m obsessed?). During this time, girls abandoned the restricting fashions of past years and donned trousers (gasp!), shorter skirts and dresses, and other fashions that were considered masculine. Lips were painted in the shape of a cupid’s bow (you know the look), eyes were rimmed with heavy kohl liner, and women’s sexuality was exercised as a result of the skewed post-war ratio of women to men. Whether these artists had the money or not, they definitely lived the opulent lifestyle (something I can’t bring myself to disagree with). If you are still confused about the twenties, perhaps try watching Midnight in Paris, starring Owen Wilson, who’s modern day character catches a glimpse into the lives of artists in the 20s.
To sum up my obsession with the twenties I created a list for each of you to get your own fix:
(1) The Great Gatsby
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Macquire and Carey Mulligan, this adaption of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic is sure to win over even the most impervious. Not only does the film exhibit the most sumptuous fashions, it also has a really awesome soundtrack (featuring Lana Del Ray, Beyonce, Jay Z and many more prestigious names to say the least).
Catch it on the big screen May 10th, and for a preview, check out the trailer below:
(2) Zelda Fitzgerald
Well you might just want to call my twenties obsession a suspicious penchant for the Fitzgerald’s, but this is by far the most interesting book I’ve read all year. If you were a fan of The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, then you will certainly enjoy Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. Similar to The Paris Wife, the book seamlessly captures the glittering twenties. In Contrast, it tells the tale of a reckless, head-strong wife, who is deeply distraught being constrained in the shadows of her husbands limelight. Tragic and beautiful at the same time, Fowler captures the attention of the reader through her immense representation of the talented and uncredited Miss Zelda Fitzgerald.
(3) Twenties inspired Fashion
One of the most influential style icons in the twenties was none other than Coco Chanel. She was one of the first fashion designers to reject the corset and embrace the youthful ease of boyish shapes, short hair and comfortable clothing. For accessories, think chunky jewels, pearls, cloche hats, hair pieces and headbands.
Try a piece of jewellery such as these Lulu Frost Absinthe Earrings (shopbop.com)
…or if you’re feeling a bit more daring, try donning a headband with your hair styled in a low up do like the picture below…
This Made Swallow Head Band from asos.com is simple and can be worn elegantly for a girls night out or for a romantic dinner.
Whether you decide to check out The Great Gatsby in theatres or sport a trendy headpiece of your own, I hope you become as enticed as I have by grandeur life the roaring twenties has to offer.