Tag: 1930s

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