What is so remarkable about them?
In 1935, when she founded the Fotolia publishing house, Fanny Brice was also a young, fashionable actress in Los Angeles. When a reporter asked her what attracted her to flappers, she told him they danced on the beach, played guitar and sang. And for a time there was a thriving flapper community in Los Angeles, including Los Angeles, with hundreds of flapper clubs and festivals, but the real community was in New England, where thousands of young, aspiring actresses, artists and writers flocked.
A few of those flappers flicked their heels at the camera or flashed their breasts on camera. For other flappers, it was much tougher. “The young girls who tried to dance without the protection of clothes – they were not allowed out,” recalls Doris Crain Bock, author of Flappers, from the Ghetto: Los Angeles in History, Culture and Spectacle. It was the 1940s, and the streets outside the clubs were “the bloodiest place on earth”.
Fashion models were especially vulnerable at the time. Fashion, particularly black fashion, was not new. In the early 1900s, women were expected to wear dresses, and many women did. But even in the 1920s and 1930s they were still expected to do it under a skimpy dress (especially on black women).
Yet fashion, particularly black fashion, had its own form of liberation – and women flippantly used that “freedom” to dance and expose themselves in public. Fashion was the ultimate expression of female liberation, a movement that included many more than just young girls, and that came to be seen as the greatest of all freedom movements. Fashion was revolutionary and revolutionary in the fullest sense of the word.
It was the 1950s that changed clothes. First, and perhaps more importantly, the Hollywood social hierarchy and the rise of a new business structure, that of Hollywood glamour, began to change the dynamics of the entertainment industry.
That meant that the roles of the beautiful, the powerful and the powerful women (think of Marilyn Monroe, Vivien Leigh or Marlene Dietrich) became less and less relevant. In the 1960s, the roles that women performed in social life, including the role of wife, mother and home were now more important.
The Hollywood model set also changed. For the first time in the 1950s, female characters became important, and their presence was not simply one of interest or fascination but a