|are you sure about this?|
what does bother me, however, is that i continue to see articles, pinterest boards and more that offer suggestions for things like "gatsby-themed parties" or "gatsby themed weddings". a "gatsby themed" event would be one that ended with everyone dead, the host floating face down in his swimming pool as he expired from a gunshot wound. i'm going to venture a guess that that's not what you had in mind for your big day. saying "i'm using a gatsby theme" is like saying you're having a party where everyone is supposed to dress up like hippies and calling it an "apocalypse now party". [not that i wouldn't be down for that, because i love the smell of napalm at the dinner table.]
because the war had had such a devastating effect on the population [which was followed closely by one of the most deadly influenza epidemics in history], economies in desperate need of rebuilding were short on workers, which meant that the door was opened for women to enter the workplace. combined with gaining the right to vote in 1919, the postwar years were a pretty good time to be a girl. of course, a lot of those girls didn't see why they should have to play by the rules that had served the world so badly. in particular, working class girls [who were the ones taking the jobs, after all] had their own income and a greater independence than their mothers had ever known. thus was the flapper born: not a diamond-encrusted debutante but a girl from the streets [who could be from any race] who earned her own way, said to hell with convention and ran right alongside the boys, wherever it took her.
when we think of flappers and the jazz age, it's most often those screen versions we call to mind. clara bow was undoubtedly the most successful, being the most or second most successful box office draw every year from 1927 to 1930. josephine baker was the most outrageous, moving to europe where she gained fame for her taboo-breaking dance performances. but when i picture the perfect flapper, my mind always turns to the beautiful louise brooks; she of the razor-sharp bob and impossible elegance.
unlike a lot of flapper icons, louise's look was more streamlined and minimalist. the shadows around her eyes were more for shape and definition and were considerably lighter than what was seen in america. [like josephine baker, brooks found her greatest success in europe, working with german director g.w. pabst.] so in my take, i decided on a deep lip- because lipsticks of the era [the lipstick tube itself being a recent invention that allowed young women to take their colour of choice with them wherever they went] were always dark- and a very minimalist eye. i went with an even more nude eye than brooks herself, since i wanted something that didn't look too dramatic for daytime. i also decided to add a bit more colour on the cheeks, just to add a little balance.
so here we go...
the base ::
urban decay naked skin foundation 1.0
dior star concealer 010
mac paint pot "painterly" [e/s base]
mac prep & prime finishing powder
the eyes ::
inglot e/s 351 [matte ivory]; applied all over the lid
armani neo-black palette #1 e/s [shimmery eggshell]*; along the brow bone and tapped on the centre of the lid, applied lightly to the lower water line
rouge bunny rouge e/s "solstice halcyon" [mauve taupe]; along the lower crease
rouge bunny rouge e/s "gracious arasari" [warm beige]*; above s.h. between the crease and the brow bone and on the inner eye socket, along the lower lash line
dior new look mascara
the cheeks ::
mac blush "next to skin" [cool beige]* used as a contour
chanel creme blush "chamade" [spicy pink-red]
hourglass ambient lighting powder "mood light" [warm mauve]
the lips ::
le metier de beauté l/s "kona"
so feel free to use this look for your next party. or fashion yourself after another icon of the age. make a few of those cocktails mentioned in the links above. play jazz. dance the charleston. wear a drop-waist dress if your figure permits it and know that i envy you. but please, please don't throw a "gatsby party". because killing all your guests would be messy and probably wrong. and no one would ever come to one of your parties again.