Being a lover of clothes, books, and historical facts, the upcoming remake of The Great Gatsby is the perfect muse for my manias. Since I simply cannot wait ’til some too-distant 2012 premiere night for an eyeful of some fabulous flappers, I’ve been poring over old fashion magazines to get the skinny on true Jazz Age style.
The flappers of the early ’20s presaged the hippies of the ’60s: bright young rebels who rejected cultural norms and embodied a fresh youth culture. These smoking, dancing daredevils abandoned corsets and idealized a slinky, androgynous silhouette—bobbed hair and all. Their shift dresses were designed to hide curves and embrace movement with drop waists, beaded fringe, and flowing bias cuts.
Once I knew what I was looking for, I looked at every dress in the Shopbop collections (I told you it was a mania), seeking the perfect frock for an aspiring flapper. In an even tie, the winners are the TEXTILE Elizabeth and James, Girl. by Band of Outsiders, and Alice + Olivia dresses pictured, which all capture the free-spirited, liberated vibe of the time.