Woman’s Fashion: The Flapper



The most well known image of the twenties is that of the flapper, which did not emerge until 1926. Although flappers were a central part of twenties culture, they represented a radical fraction of the female population. Their influence spread widely, but in a less extreme way. Women and young girls were able to copy the flapper style because the dresses, which used less cloth and were easier to make than the flouncing Victorian gowns, could be reproduced at home. The flapper represented a movement towards practicality and accessibility. Furthermore, the flapper behavior was not copied throughout society. Their tendency to drink, smoke and party was not common. The flapper’s typical look is a straight line chemise and a close-fitting cloche hat. Dresses were low-waisted. Low heels and full hemlines allowed the wearer to dance to her heart’s delight without obstruction.

A flapper smoking.
A flapper smoking.

Adriana Zelda

In  Midnight in Paris (2011), Marion Cotillard portrays Adriana, exhibiting the typical dress and behavior of a flapper. She smokes, drinks, dances freely, and stays up all night. Her love life can be described as promiscuous, as she tends towards married men. In a similar way, Zelda Fitzgerald, played by Alison Pill, also portrays the typical smoking, drinking, fun-loving flapper. These two characters illustrate Parisian night life in the twenties, exhibiting social aspects of a new and radical movement towards independence for women.



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