Have you ever been to the Textile Museum, in London? Just now they have ‘Clothes for the Jazz Age’. You step into the dark interior, lit as for a stage set. Each area is a set with a painted backdrop – the cinema, the boudoir, the picnic, afternoon tea, cocktails, a cruise. I know I love clothes, I feel so drawn to the gorgeousness of the fabrics, the design, the colours. In a way, hypnotised. I like to imagine stepping into another person’s shoes…imagine wearing your silk pyjamas all morning, perhaps dressing for an afternoon picnic, going onto a cocktail party in your favourite frock, and ending up in a nightclub.
I already had an idea of the 1920’s as : wild parties, bohemian lifestyle, hedonistic. Through this exhibition I learnt about a decade of extraordinary social change, and creativity. Just imagine, it’s 1920, the First World War has meant the slaughter of a generation of men. National borders are quite changed. Things are looking up economically. You feel an urge to blot out the horrors, to be free of the rules of the old order. Push the boundaries. Women are going to work, getting the vote, travelling. Amelia Ehrehart flies the Atlantic single-handedly. Women want freer clothes.
Zest for change.
Time to leave the exhibition and look for a pizza place.