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Cocktails, Lipstick, and Jazz: Fashion and the 1920s New Woman

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, January 24, 2023 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0333
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Where there's smoke there's fire by Russell Patterson (Library of Congress)

Beaded fringe bounced to the syncopated sounds of jazz, while illegal gin sloshed in long-stemmed glasses. The New Woman of the ’20s was smart, bold, and sophisticated. She drove cars, danced with abandon until the sun began to break, and left the signature of her lipstick on the men she kissed. The bull market prevailed, and it didn’t matter what you bought: Stocks only went up. On the surface it was a glittering moment in time captured by F. Scott Fitzgerald in novels and stories like The Great Gatsby and “Bernice Bobs Her Hair.” Everything seemed possible.

Join design historian and curator Elizabeth Lay as she shares the stories and images of this singular era in our history when the new was everything, particularly for women. The flat androgynous dresses that hung from the shoulder reshaped the feminine form and provided a canvas for elaborate beadwork and embroidery. These dazzling surfaces altered how jewelry was designed and worn, as well as the type of garments worn under these dresses. Lay examines the exoticism and the new morals that influenced make-up and fashion during the decade through images, music, and short video clips.

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