Putting jazz in the fashions (1920)
Today there are jazz stockings, phosphorescent hats, jazz slippers, pantaletted jazz skirts and jazz veils, and there are even jazzy ways of wearing your jewels. Here are some of the new syncopated styles that are working a revolution in the domain of dress.
By Jean Seivwright
“And it came to pans that there was a great war, and after the war — JAZZ.” So our descendants may read in the chronicles of this century.
Of course, everyone has heard of jazz music — that conglomeration of musical notes and tones that seems to be what it isn’t and isn’t what it seems. But jazz is not limited to the harmonies of the violin and trombone. Stories and dances have jazz in them. You’ve read them and danced them, haven’t you?
And now come the jazz clothes. Of course, they are not always what clothes should be. At least, that’s to say if you still retain a pre-war mind with its just-so ideals of everything “done very precisely and in order.”
But they’ve some kick to them. They boldly proclaim the conflicting emotions of the day — the restless spirit that is rampaging about the world — seeking, seeking, seeking. Jazz clothes are the “reds” in the realms of dress, and what revolutions they are working in that domain always celebrated for beauty!
Now when jazz dominates style, the “old order passes.” Would you wear strings of pearls? Then do not loop them about your swan-like neck to fall in festoons upon your lovely bosom. Filmy tulle may accentuate the delicate texture of your akin revealed by a rather high, straightly-cut decolletage.
But, have you forgotten? Your newest evening gown ia backless. And there, against the background of your own fair skin, you must drape innumerable rows of pearls or strands of sparkling jewels that will tinkle softly as you dance to the syncopated strains of your favorite jazz band.
1920s flapper fashions
Yes, many are the ways you can put jazz in your dress. In days gone by, you would wear the picture of your best beloved in a quaint golden locket that lingered near your heart. There you would be hidden from the gaze of the common throng.
But in jazzing times, you place it in full view of the world, albeit it stands a good chance of being trod upon at least should you find your self in a crowd. For it reposes upon your instep between the criss-cross straps of your jazz slippers.
Creating 1920s jazz fashions
One of the cardinal principles in creating jazz modes is to take anything you like out of its proper surroundings, and wear it elsewhere with all the nonchalance you can assume.
Perhaps when you went to school you learned that the Maoris who live in New Zealand dress themselves with the feathers of birds cleverly put together with flax. Lovely Parisiennes now favor feather frocks for evening wear. But they have certain drawbacks which were not realized when Chanticleer was staged. They are rather trying if you sit down for supper, for unlike the birds, women cannot preen their feathers if they get rather rumpled up.
Yet despite this, the demands for the plumage of poor cock robin, the canary and the hummingbird are so great that another hue and cry will soon be heard — save the birds!
However, do not fear that this will curtail your enjoyment of any Bolshevist fashion. Should bird laws be strictly enforced in your state, there’s surely no law against cutting grass. In fact, we think that the suburbanite will rather welcome this mode, because he need not cut his lawn every week.
Yes, you may well wonder what’s coming next, but an enterprising creator of fashion recently made a cape of grass. He does not, of course, advise as to its serviceability, or comfort. Why should he? Has he not added another note to the collection of jazz styles.
1920s flapper fashions: Jazzy suits
A jazzy suit that holds much charm for the modern “gorgeous girl” whose life is set to syncopated measure
Another radical lazily leaning over the rail of a transatlantic liner saw the gleams of phosphorescence on the water. “Bravo,” he exclaimed and as soon as he came ashore he dashed to his workshop, where he originated a lace hat with a phosphorescent brim. This gave its wearer the appearance of having a halo around her head. Perchance this particular damsel might not be classed with the saints who have attained such distinction.
But the very incongruity of this woman’s wearing it reveals but another trend of the present day’s rebellious spirit which glories in contradictions. It is not that these radicals object so much to the accepted laws of good taste, but they enjoy the zippy feeling that comes from giving them a jolt.
Of course, some of these jazz styles are decidedly reminiscent of other days.
At a recent sporting event in that country where fashion dominates the thought of many women there appeared several members of the gentler sex with parrots on their left shoulders. These were held captive by golden chains caught about the leg of the bird and the wrist of the lady. Parrots versus falcons! Doubtless you’d favor the former, for parrots would undoubtedly accentuate the jazz spirit in their lively conversation.