Saturday, April 13Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

The 1920s and Now

The 1920’s Flapper-Girl image is recognisable to all. Low waistlines, bob cuts, strings of beads long enough to play a somewhat overly-elegant game of ‘Cat’s Cradle’ and bright red pouting lips.

With Baz Luhrmann’s visually exhilarating adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ sparkling away on Britain’s silver screens, it’s no wonder high street shoppers are being inundated with all things dapper and flapper.

For those who could afford it, the Roaring Twenties was an era of extravagance, late nights and the disregard of previous stuffy social standards. Women tore off their corsets and showed a bit of leg, men put on their dancing shoes and the party never ended.

Now, it’s here that I spot some correlation between the guys and dolls of the Twenties and us, in the here and now. Is not the youthful fire of over-indulgence and flamboyance, the desire to dance away the dregs of a stressful day still aflame and tickling the ribs of all of us? Perhaps we have the party animals of the 1920s to thank for the establishment of our own nights of frivolity with fine friends, good cheer and one too many glasses of Bacchus’s brew.

However, despite still having the late nights – and if anything even more booze – I would argue that in many ways we have lost the flirty elegance of style that so shaped the fashion of the Twenties. If, like me, you want to try and bring back some of that glamour to your wardrobe, ladies, I say indulge in bright red shades of lipstick, don sequinned dresses and matching hair accessories and a pair of one-to-two inch heels – the perfect footwear for a Charleston!

This last month has been a somewhat quiet one for us all. My advice: Shake off the doom and gloom of the exam season by putting on your glad-rags and dancing shoes and go to the Media Society’s 1920s themed Summer Media Ball on June the 5th. Go on, let your hair down. You deserve it!

Article: Jamie Rose Duke

Photography: Bryony Bowie