The Soaring Hemline
Our modern age today doesn’t really like to look back at maybe…less modern times (i.e. slavery, the red scare etc.) But one era that is still looked back on and is relevant today is the 1920’s a.k.a the Roaring Twenties. Flapper dresses, three- piece suits, bow ties galore, kitten heels (gasp) and not to mention the most scandalous of all: exposure of women’s… ankles (double gasp). Champagne glasses and champagne hemlines were sky high, Americans were practicing a much more liberated lifestyle, to say the least, in comparison to the stuffy collars and Victorian dresses of late 1800’s.
With it being 2013, its certainly is a long way from the stuffy 1800’s or the liberated 1920’s but, unlike the political mood towards foreign policy during the 20’s, we still care. With dozens of designers making collection after collection taking inspiration from the revolutionary era, some could say we still aspire to dress like the glamorous and scandalous era. Movies, too, are constantly attempting to resurrect the era with movies like Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and most recently Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.
With the fashion industry mainly being directed toward women, designers are constantly aiming to put out a collection that will, obviously, make women feel confident and just as liberated as the women of the 1920’s felt. So naturally designers are constantly looking to the 1920’s for inspiration.
All- American fashion designer Ralph Lauren put out a twenties drenched collection in the Spring/Summer 2012 season. I imagine this particular inspiration may have been prompted by The Great Gatsby film originally scheduled to be released the summer of 2012, but hey stuff happens. With the original release date in May and Downton Abbey’s third season in April, once again, the 1920’s era resonated with our era. But with the release date post-poned to Christmas and then this May; Americans were restless, not unlike the era, for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary masterpiece to feast their sore eyes and Leonardo DiCaprio isn’t too bad either.
Lauren’s collection was embellished, highlighted with accents of fur, silky, feminine, masculine, breezy but substantive. And there were hats. With Lauren originally designing the costumes for the original The Great Gatsby movie after the inception of his brand in the 1970’s, ol’ Ralph fully embodied the hopeful Jay Gatsby when his designs initialed un petite resurgence in the Jazz Age and kick started his career. Bringing a whole new meaning to Fitzgerald’s romantic words “Can’t Repeat the Past? Why of course you can!”
Leonardo DiCaprio plays the handsome, pink suit wearing, smooth-as-silk, Jay Gatsby who is madly in love with the charming Daisy Buchanan, played by Carey Mulligan, who’s voice is “full of money”. But like all things, Daisy is married to the ruthless, blue-blooded Tom Buchanan played by Joel Edgerton. And then there’s Nick Carraway, played by Tobey Maguire.
The movie proceeds to show the story of Mr. Gatsby pursuit to win over his old flame, Daisy. Borderline obsession never looked so good Gatsby always wears three-piece suits because he’s classy like that. Daisy wears lavish, drop-waist dress with a twist. Jordan Baker wears very simplistic, preppy clothing. Tom wears like Gatsby, three piece suit, but wears a much more thicker material, much like his personality, think wide lapels thick knotted ties. Nick wear very simple clothing, much like Jordan.
All of these designs, are designed and made but the one and only, Miuccia Prada. If you weren’t dying to play opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, you are now.
Some criticize America’s interest in the 1920’s in the Jazz Age is frivolous and, quite frankly, stupid due to the massive amount of corruption, both criminally and morally in the U.S, that is unnecessary. But I beg to differ, although there are some less glamorous trait’s of the 1920’s, the glamorous traits are monumentally significant. Women’s liberation and style forever affected our style today, because I dare say, without the 20’s we’d be wearing corsets today.
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”