Not for Old Fogies

The flapper style has survived almost 100 years without losing the freshness and air of liberality that it was born with in the roaring 20’s.

The first flappers wore short skirts and a lot of make-up. They were crazy about jazz, smoked compulsively, and drank hard liquor, their faces framed by hair cut in a bob with bangs. This new type of woman challenged what had been considered socially appropriate female behaviour until then, giving rise to an aesthetic revolution for the women of the new century.

The flapper look arrived after World War I, when there was a big change in the world of women’s fashion, caused, among other things, by women entering into the workplace. Girls freed themselves, and to show this independence, they decided to cut their hair and dress more comfortably and simply, but without giving up sex appeal. That androgynous, boyish style revolutionised clandestine nightclubs during the Prohibition.

Clara Bow

Writers, artists, and actresses popularised the flapper style. The performer who was most faithful to this look was Clara Bow, also known as the It- girl, a reference to her androgyny; she had a magnetism that attracted both men and women.

The writer Francis Scott Fitzgerald, famous for his great Gatsby, was one of those to immortalise the flapper movement. In his book “Flappers and Philosophers” (1920), the bon vivant wrote about the youthful nonconformity of this new type of woman, portraying flappers as those girls who wanted to make the world their oyster and live fast. An aesthetic and a way of understanding life that is still current today.

Image by Classic Film Scans