It’s a 1920s Revival in the Fashion World
by Stephanie Draven
The Jazz Age was a time of women’s emancipation and sexual exploration. Having just won the right to vote, American women were eager to discover themselves in and outside the bedroom. Because the Hays Code hadn’t yet been enacted, the silent screen featured racy black and white movies which sometimes veered into pornography. And one of those movies--a digitized film about two flappers who try to seduce a Parisian bartender--helped inspire my new collection of historical erotic romances.
These days you can’t swing a cat-o-nine-tails without hitting somebody who has read Fifty Shades of Grey and wants to experiment, but in the Twenties, there wasn’t a vocabulary or a community for women with these urges. That’s what made me want to write about sexploration in the era when night or daytime, it was always playtime.
But since writing IT STINGS SO SWEET, I’ve also become enamoured of the fashions and I’m not the only one. No lesser authority than Oprah herself has declared a revival of 1920’s fashions this year and I couldn’t be happier. Even if, like me, you don’t have the boyish silhouette to pull off one of those boxy flapper dresses with dropped waistlines, that doesn’t mean you can’t join in on the fun.
Here are some elements you can play with:
Accessories: The obvious choice is a feather boa and long strings of pearls, but there are less obvious ways to participate in the trend. Try a more conservative peacock feather headband, a pair of art deco earrings, or a beaded clutch bag.
Hairstyle: Flappers were notorious for cutting their locks in favor of glamorous bobs. Check out the recent stars who have done the same including Drew Barrymore, Katy Perry, and Charlize Theron. Think of the ease of maintainability, ladies!
Embellishments: The Roaring Twenties were all about the dazzle. Look for clothes with sassy beading details, romantic lace, seductive silk insets, and flirty fringe!
For further inspiration, don’t hesitate to catch an episode or two of HBO’s smash hit Boardwalk Empire, get a sneak preview of the newest Leo DiCaprio film, The Great Gatsby, or pick up a copy of my new book, It Stings So Sweet.
About the Author:
Stephanie Draven is currently a denizen of Baltimore, that city of ravens and purple night skies. She lives there with her favorite nocturnal creatures–three scheming cats and a deliciously wicked husband. And when she is not busy with dark domestic rituals, she writes her books.
Stephanie has always been a storyteller. In elementary school, she channeled Scheherazade, weaving a series of stories to charm children into sitting with her each day at the lunch table. When she was a little older, Stephanie scared all the girls at her sleepovers with ghost stories.
She should have known she was born to hold an audience in her thrall, but Stephanie resisted her writerly urges and graduated from college with a B.A. in Government. Then she went to Law School, where she learned how to convincingly tell the tallest tales of all!
A longtime lover of ancient lore, Stephanie enjoys re-imagining myths for the modern age. She doesn’t believe that true love is ever simple or without struggle so her work tends to explore the sacred within the profane, the light under the loss and the virtue hidden in vice. She counts it amongst her greatest pleasures when, from her books, her readers learn something new about the world or about themselves.
About the Book: It Stings So Sweet
They vibrated with incendiary Jazz. They teemed with sexual abandon. The Twenties were roaring and the women–young, open, rebellious, and willing–set the pace and pushed the limits with every man they met…
In the aftermath of a wild, liquor-soaked party, three women from very different social classes are about to live out their forbidden desires.
Society girl, Nora Richardson’s passionate nature has always been a challenge to her ever-patient husband. Now he wants out of the marriage and she has just this one night to win him back. The catch? He wants to punish her for her bad behavior. Nora is offended by her husband’s increasingly depraved demands, but as the night unfolds, she discovers her own true nature and that the line between pain and pleasure is very thin indeed.
Meanwhile, Clara Cartwright, sultry siren of the silent screen, is introduced to a mysterious WWI Flying Ace. If Clara, darling of the scandal sheets, knows anything, it’s men. And she’s known plenty. But none of them push her boundaries like the aviator, who lures her into a ménage with a stranger in a darkened cinema then steals her jaded heart.
Working class girl Sophie O’Brien has more important things on her mind than pleasures of the flesh. But when her playboy boss, the wealthy heir to the Aster family fortune, confronts her with her diary of secret sex fantasies, she could die of shame. To her surprise, he doesn’t fire her; instead, he dares her to re-enact her boldest fantasies and Sophie is utterly seduced.
One party serves as a catalyst of sexual awakening. And in an age when anything goes, three women discover that anything is possible…