1920s fashions make a splash in the face of economic crisis

Kate Moss in a fabulous Swarovski 1920s-inspired dress

Perhaps in denial of the tanking economy, organizations have been capitalizing on the booming economic culture displayed during the Roaring Twenties. So seems the case in two very successful galas that adopted this as their theme in downtown DC.

The Washington Performing Arts Society Annual Gala, as well as the Smithsonian Young Benefactor’s Gala, made use of opulent 1920s décor to take attendees from the harsh realities of today’s financial crises to the thriving and exciting times leading up to Black Tuesday.

The Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS), which boasted a guest list of over 600 and auctioned fabulous items and packages for the black-tie-attired, brought in saucy female models dressed in chic flapper costumes. These ladies bounced along with the jazz instrumentalists during the reception, and mingled with attendees to offer even more 1920s ambiance to the crowd. The celebrity guest Wynton Marsalis also added star-power with his fabulous bebop trumpet performance.

The 1920s style is almost automatically glamorous, with its bright red lips, tight finger curls, and drop-waist dresses with trimmings as creative as plumage and paillettes. The original inspiration for the 1920s flapper was the newfound power and money that Americans had after the end of World War I. Women were able to wear clothing that allowed greater range of motion. This era also saw the appearance of the first all-in-one lingerie, so liberated women were throwing out their restrictive corsets in favor of these sassy new pieces. Of course, the logical result was fast (and, sometimes, loose) dancing.

The Young Benefactor’s Gala at the Smithsonian, like the WPAS, had a Roaring Twenties theme; however, the younger crowd seemed to embrace the more imaginative aspect of this era. The décor of the beautiful Donald W. Reynolds Center featured a more creative approach, with fluorescent pink and yellow feathers, boas cascading out of martini glasses, and a saucy title to the evening: “All That Jazz.” Attendees accessorized with faux slender cigarettes, highly rouged lips and cheeks, and feather-adorned headpieces.

If you’re feeling down and out about your economic standpoint, try out any of the defiant fashions of the 1920s. It’s an inexpensive way to give yourself a mental boost and put yourself in the shoes, or rather, T-strap heels, of a wealthy flapper.

As written for Examiner.com.

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