Thursday, August 9, 2007


I. Overview

The 1920’s revolutionized the United States. It was a time of mass communication, industrialization, and a radically growing economy. The Probation and the ratification of the 19th amendment also helped mold the popular decade into what we now call the Jazz Age.
F Scott Fitzgerald, a novelist, coined the phrase “The Jazz Age” to closely describe the exciting and flamboyant culture of the 1920’s. The exciting culture centered on the media, music, arts, literature and fashion. During the 1920’s the media was able to develop so steadily and substantially because of the growing motion picture industry. The invention of the phonograph, commercial radio, and sound motion pictures helped the music industry to reach a whole new audience. The arts of the 1920’s influenced the culture drastically. New art forms were affecting the fashion and the architecture of the United States during the 1920’s. Literature reached an all time high as well. Many different genres were being explored and popularized by famous novelists, poets, and magazine writers. As for the fashion during the 1920’s, it was one that displayed a social respectability and desire for a simpler way of life. The 1920’s was the beginning of an era that would set the trend for the next century to come. The growing industrialized economy helped mold the culture into one that was more disposable, comfortable, and simpler than ever before.

II. Country

· Arbiters
i. Beginning of endorsements by movie stars
ii. May Pickford, “America’s Sweetheart”, Hollywood movie star
iii. Rudolph Valentino, “The Great Lover,” Hollywood’s male sex symbol
iv. Clara Bow, “It Girl”, Hollywood’s female sex symbol (236-237)
v. Charlie Chaplin, “The Little Tramp,” biggest international celebrity (234)
vi. Charles Lindbergh actor, trendsetter for leather aviation jackets and helmet
vii. Rudolph Valentino, “Sheik”, suave sophisticated image with clean cut and slick parted hair (115)
viii. Frank Lloyd Wright, famous American architect, experimented with nontraditional architectural forms ( 92)
ix. Howard Carter, English archaeologist, unearthed King Tutankhamen’s tomb (Drown, Huber, 74)
x. Edward, Prince of Whales, set the trend for men (Murray, 105)
xi. Angelo Siciliano, “Most Perfectly Developed Man” began a mail-order business for muscle building (112)
xii. Bobby Jones, golfer sports star, trendsetter for men’s knickers
xiii. Bill Tilden, tennis sports star, trendsetter for men sweaters (Drowne, Huber, 115)
· Famous designers
i. Coco Chanel, French designer, introduced the “little black dress” (Drowne, Huber 101)
ii. Jeanned Lanvin, originated the “Robe De Style” gown (Eubank, Tortora, 390)
iii. Madeleine Vionnet, French designer, noted for the bias cut (128)
iv. Edward Molyneux, American designer, designed elegant and fluid clothing
v. Jeanne Lanvin, avant-garde designer, famous for her billowing skirt and romantic style (Taschen The Collection of Kyoto Institute: FASHION: A history from 18th century to 19th century, 423)
vi. Paul Poiret, French designer, dramatic design with vold contrasting colors (425)

III. Arts

· Influenced by European artistic movements (Drowne, Huber 269)
· Armory Show introduced the European modernism to American audiences
i. Displayed impressionist, post impressionist, fauvist, cubism (Drowne, Huber 271)
· 1920’s art movements
i. Art Deco: angular, geometric, design from nature; influenced by Egyptian and African art, futurism, cubism, neo-classicism, modernism (Charlotte, Fiell, 14)
ii. Precisionism: sharp defined geometric forms, flat planes, inspired by architecture
iii. Harlem Renaissance: African American art work
iv. Illustration: popularized by mass circulated magazines, catalogs, advertisements
v. Caricature: portraits with exaggerated physical traits; popularized because of Hollywood rising stars
· Famous Artist
i. Aaron Douglas: famous African American Harlem renaissance painter (Drowne, Huber 274)
ii. John Held Jr.: famous illustrator of the jazz age
iii. Norman Rockwell: legendary illustrator and painter (Drowne, Huber 275)
iv. Al Hirschfeld: famous caricature of the New York Times (Drowne, Huber 278)

IV. Media

· Black and white, silent movies
· 1000 movies a year produced
· Popular movie genre: biblical epics, melodrama romance, historical adventure, westerns, comedies (Drowne, Huber 232)
· Forbidden emblems in films stated by Motion Picture Producers and distributions (MPPDA): profanity, nudity, drug trafficking, sex perversion, white slavery, miscegenation, venereal disease, scenes of childbirth, children’s sex organs, ridicule of clergy, offense to any nation, race or creed (Drowne, Huber 232)
· 1926 sound was introduced into the theater (Drowne, Huber, 237)
· Directors
i. Cecil B. Mille, famous director, directed biblical movies
ex: Ten Commandments, King of Kings (Drowne, Huber 232)
ii. Oscar Micheaux, famous African American director, directed pulp fiction (Drowne, Huber 234)
· Actors
i. Charlie Chaplin, comedian star (Drowne, Huber, 20)
ii. Harold Lloyd, comedian Hollywood star
iii. Stephin Fetchit, first African American Hollywood star (Drowne, Huber 233)
· November 18, 1928 Steamboat Willie a black and white animated cartoon, featuring Mickey Mouse (Drowne, Huber, 24)

V. Architecture

· Influenced by availability of electricity, concrete
· Encompassed traditionalism and modernism
· Three important architectural styles:
i. Art Deco: ornamented, abstract, geometrical, floral Chrysler building: famous Art Deco building
ii. The International Style: unornamented, simple functionality, geometric, flat, smooth, inexpensive, made of concrete, steel, glass, influenced office buildings and skyscrapers
Philadelphia Savings Fund Society Building: famous international style building
iii. Skyscrapers: sleek, geometric, steel framed, electric elevators, symbol of power
Empire State building: most famous skyscraper
iv. Mimetic Architecture: resembled lifestyle objects, used for advertising, for amusement, became exceedingly popular examples: Oversized cow, root beer barrels, pigs, castles
· New architectural necessities
i. Public school buildings, Universities, and collages were designed using traditional styles
ii. Restaurants developed personalized recognizable architectural style
iii. Movie Palaces were designed individually with lavish and ornate designs with luxurious interiors
iv. Gas Stations were designed to imitate civilian houses
v. Popular residential house style known as Bungalow house, had an efficient floor plan
· Famous architects
i. Raymond Hood, most renowned architect, specialized in the Art Deco style
ii. William Van Alen, innovative designer, designed the Chrysler building
iii. Frank Lloyd Wright, most famous architect, designed the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan
iv. Albert Kahn, most influential and productive industrial architect, specialized in designing automobile factories
v. Paul Revere Williams, African American, commercial and domestic architect (Drowne, Huber, 73-93)

VI. Interior Design

· “Art for societies sake”
· Inspired by contemporary art, geometric shapes, Art Deco
i. Square, cube, circle, cylinder, cone, triangle
· Ornamental, fashionable patchwork, appliquéd textiles
i. Bright colors, abstract floral patterns
· Modern Design
i. Glass, chromium surfaces, ceramics
ii. Scientifically equipped kitchens, built in cupboards
iii. Symmetry, cleanliness
· New products
i. Saved time, affordable
ii. Refrigerators, washing machines, carpet cleaners
· The Bauhaus Exhibition, brought international attention to design (17-18)
i. Functionalism was the International style within the avant-garde (Charlotte, Fiell 14)

VII. Music

· Sheet music, Phonograph, commercial radio, Broadway musicals, Motion Pictures were the most popular forms of distribution (Drowne, Huber 193-196)
· Jazz, most popular genre of music
i. Three different types of Jazz: Jazz, Hot Jazz, Sweet Jazz (Drowne, Huber, 201-203)
ii. Ragtime compositions, brass-band marches, minstrel number, blues songs were the most popular elements of jazz (Drown, Huber 200)
iii. Influenced by the African American culture (Drowne, Huber, 191)
iv. Supposedly corrupted the morals of the American listeners (Drowne, Huber, 204)
v. Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, famous jazz musicians (Drowne, Huber, 218)
· Blues, popular genre of music
i. Two different types of Blues: vaudeville blues, country blues
ii. Influence by African American lifestyle during segregation (Drowne, Huber, 205)
iii. W. C. Handy, composer of commercialized blues, popularized the blues
iv. Bessi Smith, vaudeville blues star, recorded over 150 songs in eight years (Drowne, Huber, 208)
v. Blind Kemon Jefferson, famous country bluesmen, recorded over 100 songs
· Hillbilly music, emerging popular genre of the 1920
i. Two different styles: Radio Barn, string barn
ii. Influence by British ballads, fiddle tunes, sentimental pop songs, gospel numbers, blues songs, cowboy songs (Drowne, Huber, 209)
iii. Barn dance were broadcasted on both Chicago WLS and Nashville WSM
iv. Vernon Dalhart, opera singer-hillbilly star, sold 1 million copies of is recordings (Drowne, Huber, 210)
v. Jimmie Rodgers, known as “Father of Country Music”, transformed the instrumental dominated genre to a vocalist dominating genre

VIII. Literature

· Books
i. Langston Hughes Readers Digest Publishes their first issue in February 5 1922 (Drowne, Huber, 20)
· Magazines
i. Hollywood gossip mass circulated in magazines (Drowne, Huber, 236)
· Newspapers
i. 27 million American readers
ii. covered national and international news
iii. Largest newspaper chain own William Randolph Hearst and Scripps-Howard (Drowne, Huber 189)
· Famous writers
i. F. Scott Fitzgerald novelist of the “Jazz Age”: writer of popular fiction and serious literature (Drowne, Huber 184)
ii. Ernest Hemingway, novelist
iii. William Faulkner
iv. Robert Frost: Americas most popular poet (Drowne, Huber 186)
v. E. E. Cummings
vi. Edward Arlington Robinson: most acclaimed poet, won the Pulitzer Prize three times (Drowne, Huber 185)
· Slang Words
i. Balled Up - confused, messed up
ii. Bootleg - illegal liquor
iii. Cash - a kiss
iv. Sheik - A man with sex appeal (from the Valentino movies)
v. Sheba - A woman with sex appeal (from the move Queen of Sheba) (Edwards, Par 1)

IX. Silhouette

· Women
i. Garconne, French for young boy
§ Drop waist, short hem line, bounded breast, tubular shapes, bare legs, rolled stockings, bold, simple (Drowne, Huber 99)
§ Garments for women resembled men silhouette (Murray, 104)
ii. Sexy look focused on youthful features
§ Slim-hipped, slender, worldly
§ Reminiscent of little girls
§ Handkerchief hems
iii. Broke away from corsets, stilettos, oversized hats, haute couture
§ Created more leisure time for women
§ Ready-to wear clothing (99)
· Men
i. Lean boyish figure
§ Ideal strong, slim body, muscular(112)
§ Clean cut with parted hair (115)

X. Main Garments

· Upper
i. MEN
§ Inspired by the Prince of Whales (Drowne, Huber 115)
§ Soft shirts (Murray, 105)
§ Colorful Fair Isle sweaters
§ V neck sweaters (115)
§ Inspired by male silhouettes
§ Long soft blouse
§ Middy blouse, resembled sailors uniform
§ Vest style blouse, patterned after mans vest
§ Lumberjack shirt, made of wool plaid
§ Coat sweater, high shawl collar with pockets (102-103)
· Lower
i. MEN
§ Used buttons and hook and eyes for trouser flies
§ Golfing knickers
§ Flannel trousers
§ Tweed plus four knickers “Oxford bags” (115)
§ Serge or tweed knickers
§ Loose bell bottom trousers
§ “Beach pajamas” pants used to wear over slim trunks (Drowne, Huber 102-103)
· Outer Wear
i. Blazer styled jackets for men and women (Murray, 104)
ii. Women’s jacket lining matched outfits (102)
iii. Tight fitting and loose jackets for men (114)
iv. Belted trench coat stylized after British soldiers (115)
v. Raccoon Coats for men and women
vi. Price ranged from 35 dollars for a coat to 3000 dollars for a mink coat (Drown, Huber, 292)
· Women Dresses
i. Sleeveless tubes for formal wear
ii. U, V, or boat style shaped necklines
iii. Knee length hemline, long flowing and fitted sleeves (Drowne, Huber 101)
iv. Beginning of the “little black dress” and the “cocktail dress”
· Suits
i. Women
§ Practical, elegant, simple
§ Made from wool with a colour palette of navy, brown, tan, black, white pinstripe
§ Hip length suit jackets with single/double/edge-to-edge breasted lapels
§ Narrow skirts with box or knife pleats
§ Famous suit by Chanel: boxy jacket, trimmed with contrasting ribbon, straight skirt, lined jacket with coordinating material (Drowne, Huber, 101-102)
ii. Men
§ Worsted swallow tailed coat, trimmed in satin,
§ Matching trousers trimmed with wide satin ribbon down the sides
§ Waist length linen or pique vest
§ White starched shirts threaded with removable buttons
§ A tuxedo was worn for semiformal (112)

XI. Undergarments

· Women
i. Lighter, less constrictive
ii. Wore “cami-knickers”, light, one piece, comparable to thigh-length panties, made of silk or rayon
iii. Wore bandeaux, flatten the breast, made of cotton, silk, or rayon
iv. Wore brassieres, designed by Ida Rosenthal, to “uplift” the breast (105-106)
v. Average cost $1 - 3.95 (Drowne, Huber, 292)
vi. Stocking switched from black to a beige and tan colour (Murray, 105)
vii. Two styles of wearing stockings
§ Modest Women: garter belts were worn to keep stockings from falling
§ Flapper Women: rolled stockings down to expose the legs (Drowne, Huber, 107)
· Men
i. “Union-suit”, combination of undershirt and underpants
§ sleeveless short pants, buttoned up
ii. Woolen union suits were used for cold weather
§ long sleeves, long pants with “drop seat”
iii. Separate undershirts and undershirts were available Tall ribbed tube socks were worn with knickers
iv. Adjustable garters were used to keep the sock from falling down(Drowne, Huber, 116)

XII. Fabric

· Madeleine Vionnet, French designer, pioneered the use of the bias cut
· Fur
i. Raccoon, mink, camel hair coats
· Tweed
i. Used for hats and knickers
· Wool jersey
i. Women and men shirts, skirts (Drowne, Huber 292)
· Wool
i. Used to make hats, coats, suits
· Knit
i. Used for sweaters, knickers, accessories
· Embellishments
i. Metallic embroidery
ii. Beads, rhinestones, fringe
iii. Costume jewelry
iv. Trim, lace
· Dress fabric
i. Made from velvet, satin, crepe de chine, lame (Drowne, Huber 101)
i. Rayon used as an alternative to silk
· Textiles
i. Inspired by art movements
§ Art Deco
§ Geometric Forms
§ Modernism
§ Floral
ii. New technological advances
§ Chemical dues
§ Weaving processes
§ Artificial fibers
§ Improvement of silk screen printing (Hardy, 8)
· Color Palette
i. Business was a mixture of dark colors
§ Black, Navy, Browns, White
ii. Casual was a mixture of pastels from both cool and warm colors
§ Pink, Peach, Coral, Yellow
§ Sea Foam, Powder Blue, Violet
iii. Lingerie was pastel warm colors
§ White, Pink, Peach, Corals
iv. Outerwear were predominantly natural colors
§ Shades of browns, beige

XIII. Retail

· Provided clothing in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes
· Majority wore retail clothing
· Department stores
i. Popular stores: Gimbels, Marshall fields, Wannamakers, Macys
ii. Used mannequins to advertise
§ Geared towards selling outfits rather than separates
iii. Popularized because of the desire for ready-to-wear clothing (100)
· Mail-order catalogs
i. Montgomery Ward Company, first mail order catalog company
ii. Philipsborns Catalog, provided modest prices for a variety of styles
iii. Sears, Americas most widely distributed mail order catalog
iv. Popularized because of free rural mail delivery(Drowne, Huber 100)

XIV. Hats

· Popular accessory, was used for every outing
· Men
i. Peaked cap, most common hat, flat with short brim
ii. Fedora, popular casual hat, front of brim turned up while back brim was turned down, made of soft felt with decorative trim around crown (114)
· Women
i. “Cloche”, known as bell in French, preferred hat
§ deep crown, arrow brim, fitted, concealed eyebrows
§ made from straw, felt, satin, velvet, rayon, cotton
§ decorated with trim, appliqué, beads, rhinestones
ii. Turban, popular hat style
§ Material wrapped horizontally around the head (110)
· Average cost $1.95 – 4.44 (Drowne, Huber, 292)

XV. Hair / Cosmetics

· Women’s Hair Style
i. “Bobbed hair” look
§ Made popular from Coco Chanel, Louise Brooks
§ Short, close cut to face
§ Incorporated the “Marcel wave”
· Deep wave made from finger indentations (Eubank, Tortora, 396)
ii. Long hair women wore their hair tight back in a pony tail or in the “earphone” style pigtails (107)
iii. African Americans straightened their hair using formulas developed by the Walker Manufacturing Company (118)
· Men’s Hair style
i. Men’s hairstyles were slicked back and parted down the middle (Drown, Huber, 115)
· Women’s Cosmetics
i. Cosmetic industry produced face creams, astringents, lotions, restoration creams
ii. Make-up influenced by discovery of King Tut tombs and silent movies
§ Heavy make-up, Kohl, mascara, dark skin, scarlet lipstick
§ Popularized by Clara Vow and Theda Bara (109)
iii. African American Women tried using cosmetics that would give the appearance of a more Caucasian look (Drowne, Huber 108)

XVI. Shoes

· Men
i. Patent-leather shoes were worn for semiformal events
ii. Oxford shoes were low cut, low heel, laced and used for causal events
iii. Sport oxfords had a rubber sole
iv. Rubber galoshes were worn to protect the shoes ( 116)
· Women
i. Shoes were available in brown, tan, black, white, gray, silver, gold, red, green, dramatic colors (Drowne, Huber, 106)
ii. Pumps were T strapped and worn casually
§ Featured in brocade, satin, and lame (Murray, 105)
iii. Rounded tip shoes with chunky two inch “Cuban” heels (Drowne, Huber, 106)
iv. Slippers were for evening and made of gold or silver leather
v. Boots were of a Russian style with a wide top (Eubank, Tortora, 397)
vi. Oxfords were worn for sportswear (Drowne, Huber, 116)

XVII. Accessories

· Costume jewelry, faux pearls, gems, opaque glass
i. “sautoir” known as flapper beads, made of glass beads and beaded tassels (111)
· Bobby pin was used to pin hair
i. Hairpin with a spring clip
· Headache bands were used as head pieces for a decorative accent
i. Mainly decorated with feathers and jewels (Eubank, Tortora, 396)
· “Gypsy Girdle”, wide sash that fastens over the hips (Drowne, Huber 101)
· “Pochette, popular handbag that was simple, flat, rectangle
· “Metal Mesh” bag were pleated in gold, silver or art deco patterns (Drowne, Huber, 111)
· Umbrellas were long and short handle, practical use (Eubank, Tortora, 403)
· Chrome flask and cigarette cases were used by both men and women
· Men’s wallets was tri fold made of leather, pigskin, or ostrich
i. Measured larder then present day size
· Men carried “timepieces”, pocket watch with a chain (Drowne, Huber 116)

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