Since the early 1900's when motion pictures were first coming to life, costumes have been the most important element. Aside from the actors capability to make you believe in the characters they portray, the wardrobe for each character has been just as much an essential element to each film. For as long as we can remember, the fashions we've seen in the movies we love to watch have had a major impact on our own personal style choices. The very first vintage film that sparked my interest was "The Flapper", a non talkie flick made in 1919. Actress Olive Thomas was 25 at the time she played the role of a 16 year old pretending to be a flapper. Thomas' look in the film was the embodiment of the trends of the approaching 1920's, from the bobbed hairstyles & cloche hats, to the short hemmed fringe flapper dresses that shimmied.
Olive Thomas, born in 1894, was an American silent film actress and socialite who gained her rise to stardom after being hired as a dancer in the Ziegfield Follies. A vixen in her time, known for being a wild party girl, Thomas posed nude for a Peruvian artist before she went on to sign with an international film company to which she acted in over twenty movies in four years. Her untimely death at the young age of 26, happened by accident when on a coke binge, she mistook her husbands syphilis meds (liquid mercury bi chloride) for either water or alcohol? Either way, she screwed up big time and it cost her, her life...
'Flappers' by common definition, were women who were seen as non conventional in that they had no shame in their game and were totally not unopposed to wearing excessive makeup, drinking booze, smoking, driving and most of all had no issues with professing their attitudes towards sexuality which was unheard of at the time! Sounds like they laid the ground work out for us!
I absolutely am in love with the designs of this era and am convinced that this timeless style will always be 'IN'. Just this past year we are still seeing designers at the board, creating their unique versions of the 'modern flapper'
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