Category: 1930s

Decadent Photos!

Decadent Photos!

Finally! Here are some photos from Decadent: 100 Years of Burlesque. From Dandy Dillinger’s 1920s showgirl fabulosity to Candy Applebottom’s 2010s tribute to staying connected, we traveled through time on Saturday, April 22 and never looked back. Thanks to everyone who came out to The Triad and made the voyage so fantastic.

1920s

Dandy Dillinger kicks us off with an ethereal number reminiscent of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.

1930s

Ruby Mechant gives us some 1930s glamour with just a touch of Italian sass.

1940s

Spicy L’amour blows her bugle for the boys “over there.”

1950s

Shimmy LeCoeur shows us the devil in disguise with her tribute to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

1960s

Hellz Kitten asks the age-old question, “will you still love me tomorrow?” with a shocking twist at the end.

1970s

Munroe Lilly loves to love us and takes another little piece of our hearts.

1980s

Luscious Lane revisits the Cold War with a “pop” of color.

1990s

Tutu Toussaint gives us montage of the best ’90s hip-hop.

2000s

Twinky Boots takes the red pill with his tribute to the Matrix.

2010s

And finally, Candy Applebottom lights up our world with her sassy futuristic moves.

Behind the scenes:

Photos: Veronica Toone

 

See the ’30s through Ruby-Colored Glasses

See the ’30s through Ruby-Colored Glasses

Ruby embodies ’30s glamour

Instagram: @ruby_mechant

The ever-glamorous Ruby Mechant will be on hand to rep the ’30s for Decadent: 100 Years of Burlesque on April 22.

We spoke with her to learn a little about how she connects with her decade.

1. What is your favorite thing about the 1930s? 
For sure the fashion. I mean…have you seen the beautiful dresses, hats and gloves? Super classy.
Some classy ’30s fashion. (To read more about ’30s fashion, click here.)

Another thing that fascinates me about that era is the phenomenon where bank robbers were considered celebrities.

2. If you could have drinks/dinner with any person from that era, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
I’m torn between Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde and Amelia Earhart – I mean Bonnie and Amelia are pretty badass.
3. Is there anyone from today you think embodies the idea of the 30’s ?
I did a little bit of research, but there is no way you can find beauties like Greta Garbo, Rita Hayworth and Bette Davis.

Ruby is just one of the 21st century beauties you will see at The Triad on April 22, so be sure to check back often – ticket info is coming soon!

 

Party Like it’s 1939: The Champagne Cocktail

Party Like it’s 1939: The Champagne Cocktail

What do you do when prohibition is over but you’re too poor to go to a bar because you and your entire family live in the jalopy you drove to California to escape the dust bowl in? You write the Grapes of Wrath.

But for those of us who AREN’T John Steinbeck, you’d probably just head on down to the Orpheum and watch a movie about attractive rich people who solve crimes while being witty. So in honor of escapism and Oscar weekend, let’s make a Champagne Cocktail.

The Champagne Cocktail dates back to the late 1800s, but it’s listed among the Top Ten Cocktails for at least two years in the 1930s, so we think it’s appropriate. And while Champagne purists would probably vomit, the Champagne Cocktail sounds like something you would order at Harry’s Bar in Paris while you’re waiting for Ernest Hemingway to get off work so you can go to a bullfight.*

Champagne Cocktail

30sChampersCocktail

Ingredients

  • sugar cubes
  • 3 dashes bitters (Angostura or Peychaud’s)
  • Brut champagne
  • twist of lemon

Directions

Place a sugar cube in a chilled champagne flute. Lash it with 2 or 3 dashes of bitters (Angostura or Peychaud’s), fill the glass with Champagne and squeeze a lemon twist on top and you’re done! You’re all ready for your night out with Hemingway. But be careful cuz that dude is hardcore.

*Ok, yes we know there are no bullfights in Paris and that, in fact, Hemingway left Paris in 1928, but let us have our fantasy

Fun fact: The first Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 – missed it by a year! But happy Oscar-watching everyone!

Feel free to post your Champagne Cocktail pic on Instagram and tag @lesfemmesfatalesnyc!

Miss last week’s drink? It was the Bee’s Knees!

 

Fashion Flashback Friday: The 1930s

Fashion Flashback Friday: The 1930s

So it’s the Great Depression and all, but that doesn’t mean we have to dress like it. Fashion in the ’30s is surprisingly glamorous. Gone is the boxy, boylike flapper figure of the ’20s and in comes a more feminine silhouette that emphasizes a small waist. Shoulder pads and fluttery sleeves help make the waist look smaller, and hems fall to calf length and lower.

Because more women are working and taking care of bidness outside the home, they suddenly need a whole new category of wardrobe. Introducing the “day” dress, which falls between a house dress – worn, shockingly enough, only at home – and an evening dress, which is worn during those fancy nights sipping champagne at the Rainbow Room.

Day dresses
Day dresses for the 'stout' woman
Day Dresses for the ‘Stout’ Woman
More day dresses!

Evening gowns begin to feature silky, slinky or metal lamé fabrics and are embellished with sequins and beads for extra sparkle. Cutting fabric on the bias is new and exciting, and allows the material to drape more flatteringly and hug the curves.

Slinky Evening Dress
Slinky Evening Dress
’30s Evening Dresses on display at Metropolitan Museum of Art

The zipper is another new innovation that makes life easier, as is the beginning of mass-produced clothes, known as “ready-to-wear,” freeing women from having to sew their own clothes all the time. (Although many still do, it being the depression and all.)

Women’s pants begin to make an appearance, albeit mostly for beachwear and other casual occasions. Women’s trousers are wide-legged and high-waisted and sort of resemble a skirt in the way they drape and move.

Hats are still big, with 1920s-style cloches and berets still popular in the early part of the decade, later giving way to the more relaxed slouch and the flatter, wide-brimmed pancake-type hats.

Greta Garbo rocks the slouch hat
Greta Garbo rocks the slouch hat
Pancake hat
Pancake hat

The ’30s were known as the golden-age of Hollywood, so we would be remiss in not including some of the fashionable ladies of the time, like Jean Harlow, Carole Lombard (aka Mrs. Clark Gable) and Ginger Rogers.

Jean Harlow
Carole Lombard
Carole Lombard
Ginger Rogers
Ginger Rogers
Also some random (but very chic) actresses

For men, shoulder pads and wide-legged pants are also a thing. The “ideal” male silhouette is broad-shouldered and athletic, so suits were cut to accentuate the shoulders, slim waist and broad legs. Jackets were cut a little longer to give the appearance of height and tapered at the waist to form a V-shape, again to give the appearance of heft and power.

Silver foxes in suits

So there you have it – a quick overview of the fashion of the ’30s. For more information (and photos!) check out the sites below.

vintagedancer.com
fashion-era.com
shopruche.com
retrowaste.com
pinterest.com (by the way, LFF is on pinterest too! Follow us!)
bluevelvetvintage.com

As always, thanks for reading! If you have any comments, hit us up. And if you like this, why not share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc., etc.

Don’t forget to join us on April 22 for Decadent: 100 Years of Burlesque. Ticket info coming soon! See you next week.

xoxo

Throwback Thursday: Burlesque in the 1930s

Throwback Thursday: Burlesque in the 1930s

Last week, we learned that burlesque evolved out of vaudeville, showcasing comedy and variety acts rather than straight-up stripping. This changed in the late ’20s and ’30s, when the advent of movies forced theater owners to up the ante to get audiences into their venues and turned the focus toward striptease. Burlesque also provided affordable entertainment to those who couldn’t make it to Broadway shows during the Great Depression.

Thus, the ’30s are considered the greatest era of burlesque, giving us iconic and legendary performers who shaped and defined the glamour of the genre. Here are just a few of them.

Sally Rand

Chicago actress Sally Rand was a silent film star who couldn’t make in the world of “talkies.” According to legend, she was booked for a last-minute dance job, walked past a store and saw some vintage fans in the window, bought them to make into a dress, but ran out of time and that’s how the fan dance was born.

In 1933, she performed at the Chicago World’s Fair and was arrested for indecency four times in one day. The following year, also at the Chicago World’s Fair, Rand debuted her famous bubble dance, appearing with a giant see-through bubble.

Sally Rand fan dance
Sally Rand bubble dance

Faith Bacon

While Sally Rand is widely credited for inventing the fan dance, that account is in dispute by NYC-based dancer Faith Bacon. Bacon claims she invented the fan dance to get around laws that allowed women to be nude on stage only if they were not moving. The fan circumvented the law because she could cover up while dancing and show herself while standing still. The dance took off and was a hit.

Bacon was arrested during a 1930 raid on a NYC theater, but the grand jury declined to indict her or her fellow performers.

Bacon’s career was cut short after she was injured and scarred in an accident. Later in life, she unsuccessfully sued Sally Rand to stop her from doing fan dances. Bacon ended up committing suicide in 1956 at age 46.

Bringing home the Bacon with a pair of fans
Faith Bacon

Gypsy Rose Lee

Gypsy Rose Lee might be the most famous burlesque dancer of the period, if not all time. Gypsy inspired the 1959 Broadway musical Gypsy, which was made into a movie starring Natalie Wood in 1962.

Gypsy Rose Lee got her start in vaudeville, having to take the stage to support herself and her mother after her more-talented sister eloped. She became a burlesque dancer accidentally after a supposed “wardrobe malfunction,” in which her dress strap broke. The audience loved it, so she incorporated it into her act. Gypsy became a huge star at the legendary Minsky’s burlesque, known for her wit and innovation.

Gypsy Rose Lee
Gypsy Rose Lee struts

This golden age of burlesque lasted until the end of the decade, when, in a crackdown against “filth,” NYC Mayor Fiorello Laguardia closed the city’s remaining burlesque houses, putting the industry mostly out of business. Thus began the decline of the genre, which would remain in effect until the neo-burlesque revival of the modern era.

But that’s a story for another time, so be sure to stop by next week when we investigate burlesque of the ’40s.

And if you want to read more, we owe a great debt to the following sites:

burlexe.com
rebelcircus.com
musicals101.com

Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself (and Possibly Godzilla): The ’30s

Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself (and Possibly Godzilla): The ’30s

Hello! Welcome back to our romp through history. Remember all the jazzy fun and debauchery from last week? Well, it’s over. It’s the ’30s. The stock market has crashed, the banks have failed and the crops have dried up. Hitler’s on the rise, a world war looms and worst of all? You still can’t drink legally!  What the F, 1930s?

Luckily, we have distractions in the form of radio, movies and art deco, so at least there are pretty buildings to look at while we’re selling pencils on the street corner.

Mo’ money, mo’ problems, amirite?

Here are some major (and not so major) events of the ’30s:

1930

Aug. 12: Clarence Birdseye invents frozen food. Unfortunately, no one can afford ice so his idea is a bust.

1931

March 3: Congress approves The Star Spangled Banner as the national anthem so we’d have something to fight about on Twitter in 2016.

March 14: Nevada legalizes gambling and Fredo Corleone begins banging cocktail waitresses two at a time.

May 1: After just over a year of construction, the Empire State Building opens, becoming the world’s tallest building until the Twin Towers are topped off in late 1970.

Beloved NYC mascot King Kong arrives in 1934, serving as an ambassador for the city until his purported death at the hands (paws?) of Godzilla in the early ’60s.

1932

Nov 8: Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected president, introducing the tradition of referring to presidents by their initials.

WTF

May 9-June 16: Congress passes FDR’s New Deal, replacing the Old Deal with gluten-free, paleo and vegan options.

Dec 5: Prohibition finally ends with passage of the 21st Amendment and everyone asks themselves what the F they were thinking for the last 13 years.

We were too drunk on bathtub gin to think

1934

March 22: The first Masters golf tournament is held in Georgia, but it fails to make golf any less boring.

1935

June 2: Babe Ruth retires and uses his farewell speech to curse the Boston Red Sox.

Aug 14: Congress passes the Social Security Act, ensuring that future Judge Judy litigants have a means to support themselves when not suing each other over pit bull attacks.

1936

May 30: Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind is published, romanticizing the Old South, slavery and Rhett Butler.

Butler? I don’t even know ‘er! (#sorrynotsorry)

Aug 1: The Summer Olympics get underway in Berlin as Adolf Hitler tries to pretend he’s just a normal, run-of-the-mill führer and not a homicidal lunatic.

What are you talking about? I love Jews!

American track star Jesse Owens goes on to win four gold medals and inspire Carly Simon’s 1980 hit song Jesse.

1937

May 6: The Hindenburg explodes over Lakehurst, New Jersey, crushing the fledgling airship industry, but eventually giving us Stairway to Heaven.

Anyone else suddenly in the mood for a hot dog?

May 27: The Golden Gate Bridge opens.

And remains open until Godzilla destroys it in 2014

1938

March 12: Still pretending he’s not up to anything nefarious, Hitler annexes Austria.

What are you talking about? I’m just here for the wiener schnitzel.

Oct 30: Orson Welles trolls millions with his #fakenews radio broadcast that Martians have landed in New Jersey and are meeting in Holsten’s with Tony Soprano. Unfortunately, the air goes dead and no one knows for sure what really happened. (Although there is plenty of speculation on Reddit.)

1939

June 12: The Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Cooperstown, NY. The first inductees include Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson and A-Rod*.

*Definitely not A-Rod.

Sept 1: Hitler invades Poland, kicking off World War II.

What are you talking about? I just really like Chopin.

The good news is, WWII helps to end the Great Depression. The bad news is, everything else. Stay tuned for next week when we move into the 1940s and get to talk about WWII in depth. Until then, thanks for reading and be sure to save the date for April 22 when we will bring you Decadent: 100 years of Burlesque. Check back soon for ticket info!

See you next time!