‘Everything between the covers’
Jazz Age Issue
The Story takes on literature one genre at a time, reimagining the characters, the clothes and the lifestyle for the modern woman.
Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Anita Loos Lady Chatterley’s Lover D H Lawrence Tender is the Night F Scott Fitzgerald
‘Everything between the covers’
Jazz Age Issue
Interview Coralie Bickford-Smith. We talk F. Scott Fitzgerald with Penguin’s Senior Cover Designer.
Interview “We Cover The World In Crystal!” Erickson Beamon are masters of twenties style decadence.
Photoshoot “She Started All That” Fashion inspired by Lady Brett Ashley.
Feature “What do these people get out of it?” Travelling culture and all that Jazz.
Feature A study of mental illness in relationships: Dick and Nicole Diver.
Photoshoot “The Good Thing About Diamonds is They Always Look New” Accessories the Lorelei Lee way.
Feature “Gasp! The Four Letter Word!” Post Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the four letter word still has the shock factor.
Interview Wanderlust with Tadashi Shoji. Twenties-esque styles are Shoji’s signature.
How-to Art Deco Digits! Nails get a twenties make over.
Feature “Writing it out of the thin air!” The online lives of writers.
Credits: Editor Rachel McCulloch Art Director Mariana Valenca Writers Jessica Atkinson - Emma Chapman - Esther Routledge Photographers Daniel Fraser - Kurtiss Lloyd - Aimee Follows Illustrator Joanna Pietrzyk With special thanks to Bora Aksu - Vicki Beamon - Coralie Bickford-Smith - Lucinda Chambers - Karen Erickson - Finchittida Finch - NightJar Jenny Pasha - Pennies - Miriam Robinson - Tadashi Shoji - Sonnet Stanfill - Matt Zarandi
Jazz Age Issue
Editor’s Letter We like a good book here at The Story. We like them so much that when we finish reading one, we fantasise about being the characters, living their lives, wearing their clothes and dancing their dances. That is what The Story is about – extending the fantasy of reading, indulging in the escapism for just a little longer by exploring a whole genre in terms real life. From the shopping to the interviews, the features and the photoshoots, everything is inspired by literature. This first issue is all about Jazz Age literature, and our four favourite books from this decadent and exciting time are Lady Chatterley’s Lover D. H Lawrence, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Anita Loos, Tender is the Night F. Scott Fitzgerald and Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway. We’ve taken these books apart and put them back together again, The Story way. If you haven’t read any of these books, to give you an idea of the time they celebrate we’ve put together a timeline showcasing the best in culture during the Twenties, from Prohibition to The Charleston. If you love piecing together images of your favourite chic heroines, then turn to our photoshoot “She Started All That” inspired by Hemingway’s femme fatale Lady Brett Ashely. Lorelei Lee’s love of opulent jewellery was the starting point for “The Good Thing About Diamonds is They Always Look New”, and for the best way to master the Art Deco look, nail art genius 10 Blank Canvasses has designed nails especially for us, and done a handy ‘how to’. It’s not just what’s on the inside that counts – The Story talked to Penguin’s Senior Cover Designer to get an insight into their F. Scott Fitzgerald range, and Vicki Beamon, one half of jewellery design duo and lovers of all things sumptuously deco Erickson Beamon let us in to their world. Read about modern day vs jazz age travel, and take a look at “Writing it all out of the thin air!” to see how it is for aspiring writers today – not as easy as Sir Clifford Chatterley makes it look. Look out for ‘The Story Illustrates’, hand drawings illustrating some of the most poignant quotes of the books. In ‘The Story Asked’, we asked three fashion favourites to tell us what the Jazz Age meant to them. The Story... everything between the covers.
The Jazz Age Issue: What’s it all about?
An introduction to our favourite books of the era. Tender is the Night (1934) F Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby’s darker little sister, Tender is the Night charts the relationship of charismatic couple Dick and Nicole Diver. The pair are the centre of orbit for Western socialites travelling around Europe who want a good time: Dick and Nicole never turn down an invitation. When Dick embarks on an affair with Rosemary Hoyt, a young actress who has just broken Hollywood, we’re lead to question how he could possibly digress from his beautiful, assured, alluring wife. Halfway through the novel, Fitzgerald takes us back to the beginning of their relationship in a Swiss mental institution. Nicole had been abused by her father at a young age and Dick is assigned to treat her resulting psychosis. After marriage and two children, Nicole’s health is dependent on Dick, and Dick’s livelihood is dependent on Nicole’s vast inheritance. The relationship slowly crumbles both inside and out: close friend Abe North is murdered, Dick is badly beaten while drunk in Paris, Nicole apparently swerves a car containing her two children off a cliff. As the catastrophes mount, Dick’s affair with Rosemary re ignites and Nicole falls into the arms of Tommy Barban, her long-time admirer. The end of the book sees Nicole settled and healthy, but both Dick’s future and location uncertain.
Opening Line: “On the pleasant shore of the French Riviera, about half a way between Marseilles and the Italian border, stands a large, proud, rosecoloured hotel.” Dick and Nicole start the trend for holiday makers in the
French Riviera, the beautiful landscapes they inhabit contrast the sinister action that unfolds.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928) D H Lawrence
One of the most infamous books of the Twentieth century, Lady Chatterley’s Lover follows Constance Chatterley. Married to Sir Clifford who returns home from battle in a wheelchair and impotent, Connie assumes the role of dutiful wife and carer. In post WW1 England, Lawrence paints a dreary landscape of the East Midlands, and Connie soon realises that she wants more than what the walls of her decaying stately home and supercilious husband can offer. Sir Clifford embarks on an emasculating, babied relationship with Nurse Mrs Bolton, leaving Connie free to have a steamy affair with the elusive gamekeeper, Mellors. The resulting sex scenes; in the forest, on the kitchen table, in a shed, are what seals this book’s fame. Lawrence describes (mildly, by today’s standards) sex, simultaneous orgasms and the adoration of genetalia with frankness – even throwing in the odd four letter word. Connie, soon pregnant, goes to Venice for a month with her sister where she tells Sir Clifford she conceived a child. In the meantime, Mellor’s erratic and manipulative estranged wife returns to the village and discovers the truth about the affair. The book ends as Connie tries to divorce a reluctant Sir Clifford, and Mellors enters chaste solitude so that he too can get a divorce. Closing line: [a letter from Mellors to Connie] “John Thomas says goodnight to Lady Jane, a little droopingly, but with a hopeful heart.” Although the book ends with a question mark over their future, there is hope that Connie and Mellors (and of course, the euphemistic John Thomas and Lady Jane) will reunite.
Jazz Age Issue
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1925) Anita Loos
Lorelei Lee is in search of an education, but not in the traditional way. Accompanied by girlfriend Dorothy, and funded by button tycoon Mr Eisman, Lorelei sets off to London and Paris, all the while being showered in diamonds, orchids and, when there isn’t a Cartier shop on the cruise ship, imitation dogs by admirers. To Lorelei, an education means drinking cocktails in the Café de Paris and admiring Coty signs. Living the high life, drinking champagne and throwing parties, Lorelei has men falling at her feet, but is blissfully ignorant of her selfish actions. When she persuades ‘Piggie’, a notoriously rich but miserly Brit to buy her a £10,000 diamond tiara, her feathers are barely ruffled when his aggrieved wife demands she return the item. Instead, Lorelei and Dorothy become great friends with the lawyers and have a hell of a time in Paris. The book is Lorelei’s diary, and the workings of her mind are a hilarious stereotype brilliantly told in spelling mistakes and phonetic English. After a proposal from the fabulously wealthy Presbyterian Mr Spoffard, Lorelei is about to make it big in the pictures. Favourite quote: [Lorelei tells Dorothy her plan to keep the diamond tiara] “So when I got through telling Dorothy what I thought up, Dorothy looked at me and looked at me and she really said she thought my brains were a miracle. I mean she said my brains reminded her of a radio because you listen to it for days and days and you get discouraged and just when you are getting ready to smash it, something comes out that is a masterpiece.” One of the best things
about this book is the relationship between Lorelei and Dorothy: both thinks the other is stupid, and even when insulting each other, the recipient only takes from it a compliment.
Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises(1927) Ernest Hemingway
The figure of the lost generation and Hemingway’s protagonist, Jake Barnes is an American expatriate working as a journalist in Paris. With a circle of high class friends living on family wealth, Jake is surrounded by fun loving, heavily drinking companions. The first that we meet, Robert Cohn, is a disagreeable Jew who Hemingway’s characters bombard with anti-Semitic comments. Jake is in love with the enigmatic Lady Brett Ashley, a twice divorced and now engaged, sexually liberated woman who loves Jake but can’t commit to him: Jake returned from the war impotent and Brett cannot ignore her sensuality. Jake, Brett, her fiancée Mike, Cohn and a friend Bill set off for a trip to Pamplona for the bullfight. Cohn is possessive and needy of Brett, with whom he had a brief affair. The group drink, bicker, fight and do everything in excess, all the while Jake is tormented by his love, but inability to love, Brett. Brett has an affair with a young bullfighter and the group make their way back to Paris, but first Jake must rescue Brett from Madrid where she is abandoned by her lover. The end of the book sees the couple musing on what their relationship could have been. Best character: Lady Brett Ashley is sensuous, boisterous, magnetic and frivolous. She can have any man she wants, and even when she is having affairs with others, her admirers remain loyal. She calls everyone ‘Chap’ and says it how it is. She’s truly a woman of the liberated 1920s.
Prohibition In 1919, the production and sale of alcohol in the United States was made illegal, which hailed an era from 1919 – 1933 called Prohibition. Despite the law, alcohol was still widely available not only as people perfected their own ‘home brews’ but also by the opening of Speakeasys. Speakeasys were illegal joints selling alcohol, playing live music and encouraging the essence of fun and debauchery for which the decade is best known. The law saw an explosion of gang crimes and ‘bootlegging’ – the distribution of liquor, for which Al Capone was guilty but also earned him a place in the gangsters hall of fame. Our Jazz Age characters show no signs of slowing up their drinking habits for the sake of the law. Drinking was dangerous – but most importantly – glamorous. The action in Hemingway’s Fiesta by American ex patriots in Europe is constantly alcohol fuelled… (Jake) “I was very drunk. I was drunker than I ever remembered having been”. Even in New York where prohibition was enforced, Lorelei of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes manages to throw a hell of a boozy Debut : “So it seems that the police all have orders from Judge Schultzmeyer, who is the famous judge who tries all of the prohibition cases, that any time they break into a party that looks like it was going to be a good party, they call him up no matter what time of the day or night it is, because Judge Schultzmeyer dearly loves a party… he was down in less than no time.” Almost 100 years later and Speakeasies are having a rebirth as joints open up trying to re-create the atmosphere of the time. Our choice is Night Jar in Old Street. Behind the unassuming wooden doors on City Road lies a dark and perfectly decadent twenties flashback. Art deco mirrors, vintage alcohol, a grand piano and the wooden bar stools make up this Jazz Age space – not to mention the delicious (read: lethal) cocktails. Their menu is split up in to four sections: Postwar, Pre-Prohibition, Prohibition and Signature. Guess which one is our favourite?
Jazz Age Issue
We spoke to Rosie, co-owner of NightJar.
Where did the idea come from to open a 1920s style speakeasy? The idea was inspired by a 30s jazz show that Edmund I and saw together in Dublin in 2003. We loved the music, and felt that it deserved a tailored space to showcase it properly. From there, the idea developed as we read more about culture around the time, and specifically drinking culture. We fell in love with the age of glamour, where everyone was treated to style and live music was a necessary part of a good night out.
How did you concoct the menu? We knew that we wanted to showcase the history of cocktail culture, so gave it structure by splitting it into four sections: Pre-Prohibition, Prohibition, Post War and Signature. These are illustrated in our packs of cards, each suit referencing each of these eras. We used Shaker Bar School as consultants to help us set up the bar, and together with our Bar Manager Marian Beke and new bar recruits, as well as members of Shaker’s team, brainstormed, tried and tasted an enormous amount of cocktails taken from cocktail books and bibles. Thereafter it was up to Marian Beke and our Head Bartender Luca Cinalli to twist and garnish, as only they know how. The Signature drinks are all original recipes by Nightjar’s bar team.
What is your favourite drink on the menu? This is an almost impossible question. It depends on the time of day, pre or post dinner, company, mood. However, if pushed, I love the Bijou Cocktail to start the evening and a Captain Kidd to send me off.
What is your key Jazz Age inspiration? The music – Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Count Bassie, Artie Shaw, Jelly Roll Morton. These rhythms were aimed at entertaining audiences, and for people to dance to. We’re very tight on our music programming and employ some of London’s most dedicated, professional and inventive musicians playing vintage popular music from the turn of the last century.
‘Brett was damned good-looking. She wore a slipover jersey sweater and a tweed skirt, and her har was brushed back like a boy’s. She started all that. She was built with curves like the hull of a racing yacht and you missed none of it with that wool jersey.’
Dress the Part Jazz Age dressing isn’t all about pearls and feathers. We love the hip skimming shapes and luxurious fabrics of the time too. This Bora Aksu look for Spring Summer ’13 reminds us of the first time we meet Brett Ashley in Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises. It’s got a hint of the twenties but the pattern and quirky layering is a positively modern touch.
Jazz Age Issue
Simple Shapes Loose styles and drop waists are the best way to master the updated twenties look.
The Kooples £195
Zadig and Voltaire £170
Printed Fabrics Repeated patterns hint at Art Deco designs.
McQ Alexander McQueen £145
Day by Malene Birger £199
Deco Fabulous The essence of twenties dressing as we know it was eye catching and decadent. Dress the part in these embellished pieces.
Topshop Unique £125
The story illustrated Lady Chatterleyâ€™s Lover â€“ D H Lawrence
It was a strange pallid figure lifting and falling, bending so the rain beat and glistened on the full haunches, swaying up again and coming belly forward through the rain, then stooping again so only the full loins and buttocks were offered in a kind of homage towards him, repeating a wild obeisance.
Jazz Age Issue
Chanel changes the face of beauty In 1921 Coco Chanel, legendary designer and liberator of women’s fashion popularised tanning and invented the timeless scent, Chanel No 5. All in one year. Good work, Coco. As if changing the face of women’s fashion wasn’t enough, Coco Chanel went one step further in 1921. She set out to make a new scent, believing that a woman’s scent “should be as important as her style of dress”. She created No 5 by pushing the barriers of perfume, using jasmine and other single flower fragrances to create what went on to be the most famous perfume of all time. Out of 80 samples, Chanel preferred the 5th, which earned the perfume its title. Marilyn Monroe famously wore just a few drops of No 5 to bed, and now the elixir has once again made waves in Hollywood. Brad Pitt is the first man ever to advertise and embody the perfume, in a simple black and white campaign. The bottle was designed with intentional minimalism, aside from the stopper which mimics the geometry of the Place Vendôme in Paris. While creating an intentional revolution with her perfume for women to wear “wherever she would like to be kissed”, Chanel also re-defined perceptions of glamour. Coming home from a holiday in the French Riviera with a deep tan, the designer sparked the trend for bronzed bodies, making Riviera-Chic fashionable. Perhaps Fitzgerald took inspiration from her when Rosemary Hoyt got her sunburn on her first day on the beach:
“I was going to wake you before I left. It’s not good to get too burned right away.” “Thank you.” Rosemary looked down at her crimson legs. “Heavens!” - Tender is the Night
Jazz Age Issue
Coralie Bickford Smith
Coralie Bickford Smith judges books by their cover every day. Senior Cover Designer at Penguin, Coralie designs the magnetic cover graphics that make readers reach for the books on a shelf, and earns the book their place on the coffee table. Her range of F. Scott Fitzgerald covers for Penguin evoke Art Deco style and twenties opulence.
How long have you been at Penguin?
Its been 10 years this year. Quite a nice round number and having finished the biggest project I have ever worked on (the Penguin English Library) it feels like a positive end to 10 years at Penguin.
What was the design process for the F Scott Fitzgerald series and where did you get inspiration from?
The process was simple, getting to grips with the books, the era that they are set in and lots of great research at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. That was the best part, getting out of the office and away from the computer to source ideas and immerse myself in the period of art deco.
Did you create a series of designs and match them to the books, or create designs for a specific book?
The designs were created with the each book in mind. Although they do not represent elements from the story as much as my previous work, the idea was to evoke the feel of the period. That said, the crashing of the circles on The Great Gatsby refers to the crashing car.
Which is your favourite design from the series?
It would have to be Flappers and Philosophers as it is so sumptuous and the gold foil on the black paper is really spectacular and eye catching.
Which is your favourite book of the Jazz Age? Anything by F.Scott of course!
Are there any books that you still want to design but havenâ€™t yet?
Anything William Blake. He is still eluding me but thatâ€™s fine, its lovely to have something to look forward to.
The Story asked fashion designer Bora Aksu to encapsulate his take on the Jazz Age in a drawing. Romantic but always with a darker twist, Bora Aksuâ€™s demi-couture pieces are full of elegance, intrigue and seduction. We love his detailed, intricate illustrations that are bold and joyous - just like the Jazz Age. Find out more about Bora at www.boraaksu.com Jazz Age Issue
The Great Gatsby “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire star in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.
In 1922 F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was published. A book synonymous with the roaring twenties, Fitzgerald encapsulated the restless opulence of the decade, without glossing over its sinister elements. The ‘Great American Novel’ is about to get a face lift at the hands of director Baz Luhrmann in his film adaptation, set for release spring 2013. If the advert is anything to go by, it looks like all Gatsby lovers are in for a treat. The Great Gatsby follows Nick Carraway who arrives in New York in 1922 to work in bonds. Spending time with his cousin Daisy and her husband Tom Buchanan, Nick soon becomes a part of their wealthy social group, and Tom even takes him to New York and introduces him to his mistress, Myrtle (in this same scene, Tom breaks Myrtle’s nose for taunting him about Daisy). Nick’s neighbour is the elusive Jay Gatsby, a millionaire who throws scandalously extravagant parties, without enjoying them. In 1917 Gatsby and Daisy had a relationship which ended as he went to war. Gatsby is determined to get Daisy back and recruits Nick to re-introduce them. This far, Gatsby is a strong, stoic character, self-assuredly calling everyone ‘old sport’. As his relationship with Daisy progresses, Gatsby becomes visibly weak and desperate. He tries unsuccessfully to persuade Daisy to leave Tom. The group take a trip in to the city, and when travelling back in separate cars, Daisy accidentally runs over Tom’s mistress (who mistakes Gatsby’s car for Tom’s and runs in to the road as it approaches). Gatsby takes the blame for this, and Myrtle’s widow searches for the culprit, wrongly killing Gatsby and then himself. It is left to Nick to arrange Gatsby’s funeral, who despite being wildly popular in life, was avoided and forgotten in death. Only Nick, Gatsby’s father and a few of his servants attend the funeral. Daisy and Tom leave without word, and Nick moves back West. This is a story
“Writing it out of the thin air!” All Lorelei Lee had to do to call herself a writer was start a diary. Now, having a Twitter account is enough to make this claim, but is the internet a level playing field for aspiring writers? All that it takes to be a writer is the motivation to pick up a pencil and lay down some words. Totally inclusive, writing can never go out of fashion, run out of batteries, need its software updating or inexplicably crash. Whether it is to earn a living, as a hobby or even just a pipe dream, it is open to all – even those who aren’t that good at it. Lorelei Lee of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, for example, embarks on her diary writing because a man has flattered her in to thinking that her musings are worth documenting:
“A gentlemen friend and I were dining at the Ritz last evening and he said that if I took a pencil and a paper and put down all of my thoughts it would make a book. This almost made me smile as what it would really make would be a whole row of encyclopediacs [sic]. I mean I seem to be thinking practically all of the time. I mean it is my favourite recreation… So here I am writing a book instead of reading one.”
Actually, Loos’ hilarious account of Lorelei was most definitely worth documenting, but not for the reasons that Lorelei thought. Writing for narcissism is also something Sir Clifford is guilty of in Lady Chatterley’s Lover. His short stories are first there to give him a sense of purpose after being injured at war, but as his praise and level on the literary-ladder develops, so too does his editorial ego: “Clifford seemed to care very much whether his stories were considered first-class literature or not.” Dick Diver on the other hand, seems to prefer the moniker of writer than the action. He procrastinates his medical studies away and even – half seriously – jokes about giving it up. Hemingway’s Jake Barnes is the only writer we encounter who does so out of necessity. He is a journalist and relies on his trade to fund his expensive lifestyle. Whatever the motive, our Jazz Age case studies would have us believe that everyone was at it. Fast forward almost 100 years and the difference is we know that everyone is at it! While Lorelei and Dick could keep their writing habits under wraps, now all it takes to announce your writing to the world is the click of a button. The internet has given everyone who has a Blogspot – or even just those who can fit a witty riposte into 140 characters – the opportunity to showcase their writing, regardless of their abilities. In the same way that anyone with Instagram can consider themselves a photographer and all it takes to call yourself a DJ is a few mix CDs and maybe a Soundcloud page, doesn’t all this action and self-acclaimed writing over saturate the market? Reading a new blog is always a gamble, and you don’t know if you are going to stumble on genius or wade through scatty paragraphs filled with smiley faces and GIFs. The wannabes surely outnumber the talent, and if this is the case how do the deserving get noticed, not to mention that all important book deal? To find out more about the digital rat race, we got talking to some writers who are on their way up to the top. No hashtags, clip art or faux blogging-come-picture-posting here. These ones are the real deal: published writers with agents and everything. Never mind the old ‘online vs print’ debate, we want to know about the competition. Does the internet provide a level playing field for writers, a platform to showcase themselves, a distraction from deadlines… in fact, is an online presence even necessary for book deal hunters? Rhiannon Cosslett, one half of the brilliantly irreverent feminist blog The Vagenda has sealed a book deal, written for The New Statesman, Elle, Stylist, The Guardian and more. Not bad for a 25 year old. Her fast track to success is thanks in part to the internet: “I grew up with the internet and it changed my life. I started my first blog aged 13. It was one of those teen open diary things, and contained lots of terrible poetry.” From the days of bemoaning the troubles of teenage life to an unknown audience, Rhiannon has come a long way, even winning Guardian Student Columnist of the Year. She only has good things to say about the online lives of writers “[the internet] gives you a chance to get your voice out there” which is exactly what she did, and then some.
Jazz Age Issue
Her experience of getting an agent was “pretty jammy” by her own admission – they were approached by a number of agents and when they picked their chosen one, they went on a tour of publishers and signed with Square Peg/Vintage (Random House). And did she need to be online to get the deal? “Definitely. No one would have heard of us otherwise, let alone wanted us to write a book.” For others the internet doesn’t play a part in getting published at all, it’s more a combination of serendipitous timing and hard work. Emma Chapman, whose first novel How to be a Good Wife is being released in January 2013, contacted her old work place, a literary agency, after emigrating to Australia. They took her on, she approached fourteen publishers and with no professional online presence was offered a pre-emptive deal with Picador. Now that she is in the lead up to book launch, what does she think of writers as bloggers? “I think blogging is brilliant as it allows people to express and share ideas and to connect with their readers”. Stimulation comes from every outlet nowadays, so writing a good book isn’t enough to connect with readers – you have to blog, Tweet, maybe the odd Pin and definitely tell your Facebook followers ‘what is on your mind’. It’s not just the followers that you have who are important, but the readers that you can gain. Kelley Swain started writing poetry at the age of 7 and hasn’t stopped since. Her first time publication Darwin’s Microscope was picked up by Flambard to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s On The Origin of Species. “I only started a blog once I knew Darwin’s Microscope was going to be published. It definitely helped to spread the word after the book came out.” But the bottom line for Kelley is that the old fashioned way is the best way: “at the end of the day, a writer needs to unplug and get on with writing.” Drawing a line between writing and blogging is important for writers. Not only does it lend a hand to the argument of free online content (why buy the book when you can get the jist from the blog?) but the snappy blogging or Tweeting style could easily detract from the purpose of writing a book. Pushing the boundaries and finding new opportunities is a necessity for any creative today. It’s rarely enough to have just one string to your bow, one ‘thing’. Sarah Butler masters the art of literary multi tasking. Working as a Literature Development Officer she realised “writing is a craft like any other, not some mystical ability that you either have or not.” She spent time honing her own craft, has had works published in various journals while her first novel Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love launches in 2013. In 2006 she set up www.urbanwords.org.uk, a literary consultancy – oh and did we mention she has done an MSc in Urban Studies too? Her experience of finding a publisher was sparked by a physical meeting but her online presence definitely helped the process: “My work in the literature world (which has a strong online presence) reassured [publishers] that I was serious and committed to writing and literature”. That’s another thing about blogging – it is a huge commitment, and public announcement of dedication. Leave your novel for a few days and who is to know, but if a blog is neglected for over a week your readers will wane and maybe even move on to pastures new. People read blogs because they want fast, regular, familiar pieces that are digestible on a screen – not a post here and there most of them starting with ‘sorry I’ve been quiet for so long…’. Which brings us to our final writer, Claire McGowan. “I think blog culture is bad for writers. I don’t know any writer who can keep it up regularly, and it drains your writing time and concentration.” Despite the cons of blogging, being online gave Claire the edge that got her published. She won a writing competition and agents were able to look her up and get in touch “Agents wouldn’t have been able to find me had I not had a basic website. I always tell aspiring writers to get one.” Her first published novel The Fall is soon to be followed up by her second, The Lost in 2013. The first one she ever wrote, however… “The first book is still lingering on my memory stick somewhere.” As much as the internet is often portrayed as publishing’s kryptonite, slowly closing publishing houses one e reader at a time, the benefits of being online are obvious. Unless you are planning to campaign for the revival of the Yellow Pages, they way to be seen, found and heard is by posting online. The relationship works both ways – while bloggers like Rhiannon can get published, so too can writers like Sarah Butler start a web-based company, and add a string to her bow while she was at it. You don’t have to be online to get published, but it can’t hurt.
Name: Emma Chapman
Age: 27 Publications: How To Be A Good Wife (January 2013) What genre/medium do you specialise in? My first novel is a psychological thriller, though my second one is turning out completely different. What is the best moment of your writing career so far? There have been quite a few. At each stage (getting an agent, finding a publisher, the excitement leading up to publication), I tell myself that no matter what happens, I have this moment. I feel like I am collecting them, for some more arid time in the future. Where is your favourite place to read? On the terrace of my house in Western Australia, with my legs in the sun.
Name: Claire McGowan
Age: 30 Publications: The Fall (2012) and The Lost (2013). What genre do you specialise in? I’ve found myself writing crime, without really meaning to. What to you epitomises Jazz Age literature? That sense of weariness and excess, the dazzle and dust, the knowledge that just around the corner are the harsh realities of the thirties. It’s a world living on its overdraft and deeply in denial. Where do you find inspiration from? It can be anywhere - holidays, news stories, being stuck on a delayed train. I love having new ideas, it’s the best bit. The worst bit is realising how difficult it is to translate that into a book.
Name: Kelley Swain
Age: 27 Publications: Darwin’s Microscope (2009) and Atlantic (2014). What genre do you specialise in? Poetry Best moment of your writing career so far? Drinking champagne on the lawn of King’s College Cambridge with Sir David Attenborough. What is your favourite Jazz Age read? The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald had a huge influence on me as a teenager. Being from Rhode Island meant that school field trips often took us to the mansions in Newport – Rosecliff and Marble House – where the 1974 version of the film was shot. It’s a desperately sad story. While none of the characters are particularly likeable, I’d love to play Jordan Baker in, say, a radio adaptation. She’s a classic femme fatale.
Name: Sarah Butler
Age: 34 Publications: Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love (Jan 2013) and other work in various journals. What genre do you specialise in? Literary Fiction. Where do you find inspiration from? I find people so extraordinarily interesting. I love to just walk, or sit on a bus or train, and watch and listen. There are stories everywhere. All you need to do is look at how that man’s walking down the street, or overhear that phrase, or see someone standing at a window and then you ask why, and how, and what next, and you’re off. How do you tackle writer’s block? I don’t really get it. I’ve learnt to be happy to just turn up at my computer and write something.
Name: Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
Age: 25 Publications: The Vagenda, The Guardian, The New Statesman. I have also freelanced for Elle, Stylist etc. What genre do you specialise in? Usually light-hearted cultural commentary, often with a feminist slant. How did you get in to writing? I sort of fell into it. I wrote for my university newspaper, won a couple of writing competitions, and started a blog with my best friend which was surprisingly successful. What is the best advice you have been given as an emerging writer?
Suzanne Moore, who is probably my favourite journalist of all time, said ‘make sure they pay you.’ What can’t you write without? It used to be smoking, but I’ve just given up, so now I’m on my own. Jazz Age Issue
The story illustrated Fiesta: the Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway
“Did you ever think about going to British East Africa?” “No, I wouldn’t like that.” “I’d go there with you.” “No, that doesn’t interest me.” “That’s because you’ve never read a book about it.”
“ The serious ones dress up in evening clothes and go off to the Pally to show off before a lot of girls and dance these new Charlestons and whatnot.” Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Josephine Baker dances the Charleston
The Charleston: The Dance of a Decade
If one dance epitomises the Jazz Age, it has to be The Charleston. Created in 1923 alongside the song of the same name by James P Johnson for the musical Runnin Wild, it was famously danced by twenties starlet Josephine Baker. Charleston fever soon kicked in and Charleston dance competitions were being held all over America. Later, dances such as the Lindy Hop and Jazz Roots took their inspiration from the Charleston moves.
Jazz Age Issue
Flapper Footwear Every bright young thing getting ready to hit the dance floor needs a show stopping pair of dancing shoes. But kicking those feet and swinging those legs calls for a shoe that is going to stay put, so strap yourself in and get Charleston-ing.
Topshop £58 Diane Von Furstenberg £230
Joanne Stoker £499.50
Lucy Choi London £255
“We love these deco dance floor tappers by Joanne Stoker!”
“We Cover the World in Crystal!” Studio 54 was her schoolroom, she invented chandelier earrings, and the likes of Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga are her clients. Vicki Beamon, co-founder of ‘baubles and bangles empire’ Erickson Beamon, is inspired by Jazz Age decadence. Jazz Age Issue
Favourite writer? Tennessee Williams or Truman Capote “I always say, jewellery is such a personal, sentimental choice. In that way, dressing is an intellectual part of what you’re trying to say about yourself, whereas the jewellery you put on is more of an emotional statement. That’s what we try to provide at Erickson Beamon; a dress-up fantasy.” Fantasy is the key word over at Erickson Beamon, from their beginnings to the incredible pieces they create. Vicki Beamon and Karen Erickson came upon jewellery design while working on a friend’s runway collection in the early 1980s, happening to recognise the need for jewellery in the collection and sewing beads onto suede. What came next is surely a thing of fantasies: Vogue coverage, celebrity followers and collaborations with some of the most discerning, elite fashion designers around. Almost 30 years later (Erickson Beamon celebrates its 30th birthday next year), the dream continues. In 1985 Vicki moved to London to head up the European side of the business, first in Camden and now in Belgravia. In the basement, studios and workrooms are filled with iridescent, shimmering jewels being intricately placed to create wearable works of art. The ground floor and opening fascia is the shop – a cosy room that feels like walking into a treasure chest. And the top floor – Vicki’s office – resembles a dream centre full of visual and tactile stimulation: shelves of jewellery, stacks of books, vintage furniture, masks, photographs and even a party invitation-cum-sculpture that takes pride of place on her desk. Despite the 3,000-mile working distance, Vicki and Karen manage to make things work: “Spiritually I am often in tune with the right thing at the right time and Karen is very like that also. We are very intuitive – we go back and forth, making things that really work together even if we don’t see what each other are making.” It’s not just emotionally that they are able to make the most of the distance. As a business it works too. “In England, jewellery doesn’t seem to go out of fashion. I think people aren’t so much slaves to the runway. When it is a minimalist time in fashion, New York really embraces that, whereas here, even during the minimalist time in the mid-nineties, John Galliano was making big necklaces and we did the big chandelier earrings. In England, no matter what people do, they want some kind of adornment.” But who is this Erickson Beamon woman? Fearless enough to ignore the guidance of the runway? Stylish enough to carry off a Swarovski-encrusted choker? “Our woman is ageless. That’s what I’m most proud of. It’s so much more about the mind of the customers than the age. It’s a woman who has a great sense of her own style; we have customers from teenagers to 80-year-olds. There aren’t any boundaries.” One look at their list of clients and it’s clear to see that boundaries do not exist for Erickson Beamon. Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé,
Chloe Seivigny, Elizabeth Taylor, Kate Moss, Nicole Kidman... even Lil’ Kim wears Erickson Beamon. Few brands can maintain this kind of universal appeal and aspirational quality, which brings us back to the fantasy element of their work and the inescapable fact that everybody has fantasies, whether they are the First Lady or international pop stars. “We make things that people want to dress up in, to live the fantasy.” Sitting in Vicki’s office surrounded by jewels, suddenly this fantasy seems very real. Vicki and Karen have experienced some of the most iconic movements of the late twentieth century, so when it comes to fantasies, they are definitely in the know. “Karen and I grew up in Studio 54, which was a totally decadent time in New York. Erickson Beamon really arose from that era, which I would say is the second most decadent time in the twentieth century, after the 1920s.” Studio 54 is such an iconic period that now it seems more like fiction than fact. Rumours, myths and urban legends, which will probably never be clarified, were born in those rooms. We asked Vicki to tell us some stories. “Well I guess I could tell you some stories, but I won’t! I was there though when Bianca Jagger came in on the white horse. Being there really gave you a taste and passion for life.” Their ‘Deca-dance’ collection embodied fantastical, dreamlike qualities of the time in which they have lived, and that original decadent time – the 1920s. A ‘dark, sensual’ collection, Vicki and Karen used their own experience as well as Jazz Age inspiration to create the collection: “The Jazz Age has always been a reference for me. I love the music, the look – but it’s about taking that and putting a modern twist on it to keep that decadence going. Erickson Beamon is about drama and the Jazz Age is one of the most dramatic periods of all time – it works.” One of their main starting points was the Weimar period, a time of excess, indulgence and sexual experimentation in 1920s and 1930s Berlin, highlighted by cabaret acts and an underground culture enjoyed by the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Marlene Dietrich. “When you read about Weimar Berlin and that period, you realise that anything you think goes on now was going on back then too, believe me. Nothing is new!” The parallels between the twenties that Erickson Beamon admires, and the eighties that they experienced are not lost on Vicki: “It was about the softness of the dresses and the total freedom, the whole pre-war freedom, before everything got dark again. The time of Studio 54 in New York and Taboo in London was so decadent, and predated AIDS, so it’s as if the decadence always precedes the fall.” Each of their collections starts by pinpointing an inspiration. With ‘Decadance’ it was about “that mood, that drama of life” in the twenties. But
Favourite book? To Kill a Mockingbird
A piece from the Erickson beamon Deca-Dance collection.
Jazz Age Issue
Favourite drink? A Dirty Martini
Favourite artist? Liza Lou generally Vicki can draw inspiration from any source: “All of a sudden something will catch my eye; it can be in architecture or art or a painting, even colours in a painting or something in a film. Even the mood of a film can start it off.” Often, though, it is the women in the films who inspire her: “I love Tennessee Williams so I go back to those themes for Blanche DuBois, or even Elizabeth Taylor in Suddenly Last Summer, so my inspirations often come from old movies that involve strong women.” Whatever that mood, movie or starting point may be, Vicki and Karen make it work: together. “That’s where our intuition kicks in. We get the right vibe at the same time and fit the mood into the fantasy.” As well as an astounding client list, Erickson Beamon collaborates with runway designers each season to give collections the essential finishing touch, pleasingly replicating their beginnings but on the world’s stage. “I loved working with Raf Simons on Jil Sander a year ago; that was an amazing experience and he is a joy to work with.” But It’s not just the big names that Vicki works with or draws inspiration from; it’s also emerging designers: “English designers are always full of inspiration for me. Maria Graschvogel, Richard Nicoll, Erdem. It’s never been better for clothing designers in the UK; there are so many people now that you really need to watch. Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Peter Pilotto, Mary Kantrantzou – England is so important. Plus I’m kind of a style.com addict.” Lorelei Lee of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes has a revelation when she is in Paris: “I really think a girl looks quite pretty when she is covered all over in diamateys [sic]!” Is that something Erickson Beamon would agree with? “I absolutely agree with that! Everybody loves that – they can’t get enough of the crystals. We covered a chair, walls… Karen has done mannequins covered all over in crystals too. We cover everything in crystal. We cover the world in crystal!” Well, sparkle on, ladies.
Recommended reading: Tennessee Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire. Mel Gordon: Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin. Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird.
Jazz Age Issue
The Basin Street Brawlers
Top Shelf Jazz
Jazz Defines the Decade Although it had been around since the late nineteenth Century, it wasn’t until the mid-1920s that Jazz broke the mainstream and was accepted as a legitimate form of music. Emerging from African roots and popularised in the southern United States, development of the style was first in New Orleans then most popular in Chicago. Associated with immorality and smoky bars, the unpredictable, restless and undefinable music became the theme song to the decade and defined the values, subcultures and attitudes of the twenties. The Jazz trail blazed by legends such as Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Norton, Duke Ellington and Bessie Smith is still enjoyed today by Jazz and Swing bands doing it their own way. Here are our three favourites:
Albert Ball’s Flying Aces
Experts at time travel, this troupe formed in 1916, and perform rag time, jazz, blues and polkas to relieve the stress of their daily ‘aerial dog-fights’ (in their day job as aviators for 266 Squadron RFC ). Actually formed in 2010, we love how this group give us an authentic flashback to music of the time and wrap up in a perfect post war package.
Top Shelf Jazz
“Purveyors of filthy swing” – as if jazz wasn’t subversive enough, Top Shelf Jazz crank it up a notch by combining naughty lyrics with a pre-war swing beat. Here’s a taster of their tune ‘Correspondent’ “The fastest car, the fastest hips All the ladies and the wives say he’s well equipped He’s a Valentino gigolo, the best they’ve “known” Every time he comes to town there’s a scandal coming down”
The Basin Street Brawlers
The Basin Street Brawlers are “London’s own ragtime stompin’ ragtime orchestra”. Re-creating the classics, these guys sing the tunes penned by the likes of Jelly Roll Morton and and Louis Armstrong, “stompin’ and wailin’” their way through.
Lady Brett Ashley was a heartbreaker and trendsetter. We reimagine this magnetic woman in androgynous pieces with a luxurious touch.
Top and trouser outfit Religion Brogues Office
Blazer Ted Baker Dress Religion Brogues Office
‘Let’s not talk. Talking’s all bilge.’
Sleeveless blazer Zara Sequinned dress (just seen) Religion.
‘I say, Jake, do we get a drink?’
Jazz Age Issue
Top H&M Belt Zara Trousers Ted Baker Shoes United Nude
â€˜I saw him watching Brett. He felt there was something between them. He must have felt it when Brett gave him her hand.â€™
‘I’ve always done just what I wanted’
Top H&M Trousers Ted Baker Shoes United Nude
Dress Silent by Damir Doma Trousers Religion Shoes United Nude
Photographer: Kurtiss Lloyd Hair and make up artist: Chloe Han Stylist: Rachel McCulloch Model: Rio @ Models 1 Location: Bar Night Jar
Jazz Age Issue
The Story asked...
The Story asked Vogue Fashion Director Lucinda Chambers what the Jazz Age meant to her. â€œThis was the first era that women were liberated in terms of their bodies and clothes. A wonderful time to feel free to move in clothes, show legs, dance with all the energy and enthusiasm that had been restrained for so lzong! In terms of fashion - it was beautiful and decorative and decadent.â€?
Put a Cloche On It If you’re channelling the Brooks Bob this season then tuck it into a neat cloche for a sophisticated look. Love the hat but can’t part with your locks? These hats also work with a low side fishtail plait or tight chignon at the nape of your neck.
Catarzi exclusive at ASOS £30 Topshop £25
Stella McCartney £180
Burberry Prorsum £395
Jazz Age Issue
The Bob The iconic hairstyle of the twenties, the bob was another visual representation of womenâ€™s liberation. Free of corsets, taking scissors to their long tresses was the next step to equality. Luckily, the bob with its sharp lines and smooth silhouette was devilishly chic as well as socially emblematic. Hairdressers were slow to pick up on the trend so women formed queues outside Barber shops to get their dramatic chop! Film star Louise Brooks sparked the fashion and by the mid nineteen twenties it was the â€˜do of choice for most Western women.
Louise Brooks knew how to work a Bob cut.
The Lost Generation You are all a lost generation’ – Gertrude Stein In 1926, Ernest Hemingway coined the term ‘The Lost Generation’ in the epigraph to Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises, credited to Gertrude Stein. The characters of Jazz Age fiction; Hemingway’s aristocratic travellers, Fitzgerald’s lackadaisical socialites; are the incarnation of the lost generation. Liberation and gratification were in the air, despite the sense of spiralling foreboding and aimlessness. This time of blind sighted prosperity sandwiched between wars, was both enjoyed and observed by Hemingway and his peers. Almost 90 years later, the lost generation describes twenty-somethings leaving university with no job prospects and towering debt, but a perfectly honed CV and an array of lonely interview outfits. Being labelled a Lost Generation, written off as though we are all waiting for the next, successful, ‘found’ generation almost makes us ask – just as Hemingway did –
‘Who is calling who a Lost Generation?’
Jazz Age Issue
“What do these people get out of it?” Travelling culture and all that jazz Jazz Age travel made hopping around Europe look as easy as throwing on a string of pearls. Jessica Atkinson explores modern travel; overcrowded spaces, underappreciated culture and one too many whisky buckets. After arriving at the hostel on my first day in Tel Aviv, I did as any sweaty Caucasian would and headed straight to the pool (alright, it was quite a nice hostel-bordering-onhotel). Good plan right? What could be more rejuvenating than diving headfirst into the blue depths of a swimming pool? Except when I got there, I found I wasn’t the only one with that idea. In fact I was greeted by a swarming mass of bobbing heads. Mainly children’s heads. Screaming, shouting, spitting, splashing children’s heads. And bodies. Bodies that were running, jumping, diving, pissing and vomiting. Yes gentle reader, not only was I met by an overwhelming smell of urine (which actually overpowered the stench of chlorine, quite an achievement) but there was a fresh splatter of vomit right across the entrance to the pool and showers. Not exactly what I’d had in mind. This reminded me, in a much less-elegant fashion, of that scene in Lady Chatterley’s Lover when Connie and Hilda visit Venice, and they stumble upon the lido, “with its acres of sun-pinked or pyjamaed bodies…like a strand with an endless heap of seals come up for mating…too many limbs and trunks of humanity on the Lido, too many gondolas, too many motor-launches, too many steamers, too many pigeons, too many ices, too many cocktails, too many menservants wanting tips, too many languages rattling, too much, too much sun, too much smell of Venice…altogether too much enjoyment!” Well quite. In fact it’s surprising how often you can feel like that when you’re travelling. That sense that everyone has gotten there before you and beaten you to the fun. They were enjoying themselves before you got there and they’ll carry on long after you leave. Of course this isn’t what people say when they’re reporting back from their holiday or “gap yah”: “Oh we found this amazing place, little hole-in-the-wall, you wouldn’t have known it was there” etc… It’s obvious that human beings in the 21st century crave individual experiences, something organic, whether that be a chance encounter with a mystic shaman in Kyoto or mud-painting in Bulgaria with amputees. Sadly, in my humble opinion, these days are fast disappearing. We’ve explored this planet not quite fully but we’re not far off and there’s very little terrain left that isn’t well-trodden (excluding the respective poles I suppose). The regularity of people going travelling now leads to various negative comments from the people who greet you on your return. You find yourself open to all kinds of criticism; that you’re delaying dealing with reality, that “travelling” is nothing more than a holiday and even your route will likely be knocked – “Oh. You went that way round?” And yes I know nothing’s as good as it used to be; we’ve destroyed once-loved hippy destinations like Ibiza, Laos only seems to resonate one response from people despite being rich in culture and history (“did you go tubing?”) And let’s not even talk about Byron Bay.
“in only a few blocks we read all of the famous historical names like Coty and Cartier and I knew we were seeing something educational at last and our whole trip was not a failure…”
“… too many cocktails, too many menservants wanting tips, too many languages rattling, too much, too much sun, too much smell of Venice… altogether too much enjoyment!”
But it’s important not to take this readily-accessible world for granted. The babyboomer generation have indirectly made it much more challenging for younger people to get jobs and they’re all going to live so long there won’t be anything left of the NHS by the time we get there. But if you talk to anyone of that generation, the majority will tell us how lucky we are to even consider the concept of a gap year for travel. Yes they did the hippy-trail and plenty of aspirational Socialists headed over to kibbutzim but it was hardly typical. As with so many things we take for granted about contemporary life, the baby-boomers forged the way for this generation to take six months off here and there to jump on an international flight without anyone batting an eyelid. Also travelling doesn’t have to be as egotistical as others (including your fellow travellers) might have you believe. There’s so much ridiculous social pressure within the culture to seek out the unique, the dangerous, the rare, the exotic. If you can find that, then that’s incredible and fantastic. But the self-congratulating pretension that comes with it is enough to make me want to book a trip to Aiya Napa. If travelling has taught me one thing, it’s that judging other people’s experiences against your own misses the point completely - surely it’s got to be bad news karma-wise too? Missing the point in Gentlemen prefer Blondes, Lorelei and Dorothy are very unimpressed with Europe, much preferring the wonders of their native USA, although they do find some sights of appeal ; “in only a few blocks we read all of the famous historical names like Coty and Cartier and I knew we were seeing something educational at last and our whole trip was not a failure…when we stood at the corner of a place called the Place Vendôme, if you turn your back on a monument they have in the middle and look up, you can see none other than Coty’s sign.” We might laugh at these stereotypical, crass Americans who fail to appreciate the architectural beauty of Paris but how many travelling twenty-somethings spend just one day exploring the temples of Angkor Wat and countless nights dancing on the tables at the Angkor What? Bar, just a few miles down the road from the UNESCO World Heritage site? Although, in fairness you do get a free t-shirt with every whisky bucket you buy. This is the essence of why it doesn’t pay to be prescriptive about where people go and what they want to see and do while they’re there. It all comes down to personal choice and even if you think you might not enjoy something or somewhere, you’ll never know until you actually try it. Isn’t it better to see places for yourself rather than sitting at home looking at pictures of them? This is the exact argument that takes place between Jake and Robert in Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises; when Robert suggests a shooting holiday in East Africa and Jake isn’t keen, Robert insists this is because “you’ve never read a book about it”. This is of course the same book where Hemingway wrote “You are all a lost generation” – relevant much? If we look to the roaring twenties for inspiration, then we should take note of their reckless and hedonistic attitudes and do the same if we can (or at least where our holiday plans are concerned). I want to end with another sea of enjoyment. An alternate watery environment filled with piss and various other human excretions. Except this one can be found on the Thai island of Koh Phangan. If we were to go there tonight, I guarantee we’d be greeted by endless throngs of glistening, tanned, UV glowing bodies. The sea of enjoyment there is always in full swing. I have been to two full moon parties and each time I was struck by the inevitability of it. Every month (and pretty much every other night of every month to be honest) this beach is packed with painted people. Their faces change and the songs occasionally get updated but the spectacle is remarkably similar, as is the experience. But each time upon observing this sea, I’ve dived in. Headfirst.
Jazz Age Issue
Europe was the stomping ground for most Jazz Age travellers: â€œDuring the morning I usually sat in the cafe and read the Madrid papers and then walked in the town or out in to the country.â€? Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises
The story illustrated Tender is the Night â€“ F Scott Fitzgerald
Was it an hour ago she had waited by the entrance, wearing her hope like a corsage at her belt? Dress stay crisp for him, button stay put, bloom narcissus â€“ air stay still and sweet.
Jazz Age Issue
The Story illustrates
Would Anaïs Nin have been the most prolific blogger ever? During her lifetime, Anaïs Nin created a substantial body of fiction. Five novels, three novellas, a prose poem, a collection of short stories, and two books of collected erotica, for which she is probably best known. But by her own admission and that of her critics, her real gifts to the literary world were her journals. In total, the intricate day-to-day musings run to 35,000 pages, 150 volumes: only some of which have been edited for publication. Anaïs Nin herself made comparisons with Oscar Wilde, claiming, “I put only my art into my work and my genius into my life.” For these reasons, Nin has become an embodiment of the Jazz Age era, providing a vast coming-ofage account of this exciting and tumultuous time in Paris, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In the 1930s, she knew and influenced writers, academics and artists such as Otto Rank, Henry Miller, Gore Vidal and Marguerite Young. Through living openly and documenting every move, she has become something bigger than one person: the essence of an era. Through her self-awareness and honesty, Nin gives voice to an awakening generation of women. Nin is prolific for her erotic and exposed works. Initially using her journals to work through a difficult relationship with her deserter father, the writings became an intimate portrayal of a young woman finding her individuality. Through their truthfulness, they became universal: Nin writes, “What I have to say is really distinct from the artist and art. It is the woman who has to speak… not only the woman Anaïs…, but I who have to speak for many women. As I discover myself, I feel I am merely one of many, a symbol.”
placed Anaïs Nin if she had come of age today. Would she have written a blog, or had a YouTube channel? Or were her words just for her, her journal the only place she could be truly honest, and not play the part that has become her legend? Considering her publication of the first six journals during her lifetime, albeit carefully edited, and her interest in exhibitionism and provoking debate, surely she would have written a record breaking blog and had a million followers on Twitter… that is, before it got shut down for indecent content.
Recommended reading: Henry and June Anaïs Nin.
It is interesting to consider where this desire to document would have
Jazz Age Issue
The Story asked...
The Story asked V&A Fashion Curator Sonnet Stanfill what she loves most about 1920s style. â€œWhat I find so compelling about 1920s fashion is that it offered women greater freedom of movement. From shorter skirts to the tidy bob haircut, 1920s styles encouraged greater physical ease.â€?
Tender is the Night Dependent, imbalanced relationships are everywhere in Jazz Age fiction, from Connie acting as carer to Sir Clifford in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, to Lady Brett Ashley in Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises, who is adored by all but committed to no one. Emma Chapman examines the power struggle between Dick and Nicole Diver in Fitzgerald’s masterpiece Tender is the Night. “Isn’t it funny and lonely being together, Dick…Shall we just love and love? Ah, but I love most, and I can tell when you’re away from me, even a little. I think it’s wonderful to be just like everyone else…” In today’s society, as in 1934 when F. Scott Fitzgerald’s fourth novel ‘Tender is the Night’ was published, marriage and relationships are aspirational. They are something that makes us happy: more than that, something that makes us whole. You complete me, I’m not me without you, I was nothing before I met you, I’ll die without you…the love songs warble. But can someone else really be a cure for our inadequacies, insecurities, or even mental imbalances? Through the central couple Dick and Nicole Diver, Tender is the Night explores the dangers of a co-dependent relationship founded on Nicole’s mental illness. Despite being published almost eighty years ago, the questions of how much we should rely on our partner still ring true today. The destructive Divers perhaps embark on the relationship for the wrong reasons: Nicole sees Dick as a ‘cure’ for her illness, and Dick is seduced by her beauty and under pressure to save her. As we watch their lives unravel, we learn that the idea we grow up with of romantic love, propagated in books, films and music, is a very unhealthy one. If we believe from the beginning that we need someone else to make us happy or complete, we are setting ourselves up to be disappointed. Through a clever narrative split, we only learn the Divers’ history after we have seen their idyllic life in the south of France. Living the idealized Jazz Age existence of spontaneity and socializing, Nicole and Dick are often described as one person, even signing communications as ‘Dicole’. Dick is the perfect social chameleon: tactful, empathetic and exciting. We view him through the eyes of the naïve Rosemary, who has many similarities with the young Nicole; both are beautiful, innocent and full of joie de vivre. Rosemary sees Dick as a care-giver, ‘the ideal by which[she] measured other men’, and against his better judgment, they embark on an affair. In the early scenes of the book, we are privy only to glimpses of Nicole’s illness: through allusions to an unpleasant scene witnessed by a party guest. Dick is
F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
“It’s always a delusion when I see what you don’t want me to see.” her protector, attempting to cure and hide her disorder. Rosemary sees her as an enviable character, someone ‘controlled, her eyes brave and watchful’: a woman who has everything, until she sees Nicole behaving ‘out of her mind’ first-hand at the end of Book 1. It is only in Book 2 that we learn the beginnings of Nicole’s illness, and of the Divers’ relationship. Though not her doctor, psychiatrist Dick Diver is credited with making her better through ‘transference’, by offering her ‘complicity’: something outside of herself and her treatment to focus on. Dick is uneasy: though tempted by her ‘youth and beauty’ that ‘well[s] up inside him in a compact paroxysm of emotion’, he is focused on his career and worries that he will ‘devote half [his] life to being [Nicole’s] doctor and nurse’. After trying to separate himself, he is seduced by Nicole’s youthful exuberance and decides to marry her. As soon as he does, he recognizes that ‘her problem was one they had together for good now’. Buoyed by her money, they set off on a life of excitement, but even this cannot prevent Nicole from having relapses: after the birth of her first child, she is ‘tired these days… afraid of falling,...so heavy and clumsy’, and after her second ‘everything got dark again’. We begin to discover the strain that Nicole’s illness has exacted on their relationship. By ‘pretend[ing] to a rigid domesticity…for the sake of her cure’ which ‘became more arduous’, Dick feels stifled. He likens Nicole to a ‘a fine tower…not erected, only suspended, suspended from him’ and bemoans the ‘agony’ involved in them becoming ‘one and equal, not opposite and complementary’. It is a codependent relationship: Nicole ‘le[ads] a lonely life owning Dick who [does] not want to be owned’. Dick explains how he ‘had tried unsuccessfully to let go his hold on her’, knowing it is not healthy for her to be ‘deprived of any subsistence except [him]’. The rising pressure leads Dick
Jazz Age Issue
“Dick’s careful, controlled life begins to disintegrate.” to drink and to pursue Rosemary: a girl who shares many of Nicole’s early charms but lacks her difficult past. Nicole is also impaired by Dick’s perception of her as an invalid. Since he has known her, she has been mentally ill, and Dick refuses to see her as anything else. Her instability began due to early sexual abuse by her father, and when Dick betrays her with Rosemary and another young girl, her frustrated reaction is understandable. Dick however, choses to see it only as a symptom of her illness, even when he is accused of dalliances with other young patients. Nicole berates him, exclaiming, “It’s always a delusion when I see what you don’t want me to see.” Later in the book, when Nicole begins to separate herself from Dick, Tommy Barban claims, “You don’t understand Nicole. You treat her always as an invalid because she once was sick.” Dick’s convenient reliance on Nicole’s illness as his ‘get out of jail free card’ allows him to behave exactly as he likes. Tender is the Night is not the first novel to explore the idea of a woman transgressing society’s expectations as exhibiting signs of mental illness. In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening (1899), the heroine’s husband views her newfound independence as symptoms of a disorder. If a woman does not conform to the ideal wife and mother, she is behaving ‘unnaturally’: against the Christian view of women’s submissive role in life. The Yellow Wallpaper (1892) follows the protagonist’s rebellion against a woman’s domestic role, offering parallel interpretations of either her increasing madness or journey towards freedom. Another of Dick’s patients also represents this theme: an American painter previously living in Paris, ‘exceptionally pretty’ when brought to Dick’s facility by a relative who ‘happened upon her all mad’, and now ‘a living agonizing sore’, inflicting wounds on herself while ‘imprisoned as the Iron Maiden’. Dick calls her ailment a ‘nervous phenomenon’ and when the woman exclaims that she is “sharing the fate of the women of my time who challenged men to battle”, Dick tells her, “You’ve suffered, but many women suffered before they mistook themselves for men” and suggests that “only by meeting the problems of the every day, no matter how boring and trifling they may seem, [they] can make things drop back into place again”. Through this symbol, Fitzgerald explores what defines mental illness: the ‘illnesses’ explored in the book are caused by not conforming to society’s expectations, whether as an independent woman, a homosexual man, or in Nicole’s case through an incestuous sexual transgression. The breaking point in the Diver’s relationship comes when they go on a family outing. That morning, Nicole receives a letter warning her of Dick’s inappropriate behavior with a young student, which he denies. The tension in their relationship rises, leading to Dick losing control of their vehicle and almost drive over a cliff. Fitzgerald does not make it entirely clear whether it was Dick or Nicole’s fault, suggesting their combined destructiveness. After this, Dick goes away, reigniting his affair with Rosemary and becoming embroiled in a violent confrontation due to excessive alcohol consumption. We see Dick’s careful, controlled life begin to disintegrate further, as he recognizes that he is ‘not much [himself] anymore’. In the last part of the book, the Divers return to the South of France. Their continual travelling suggests that wherever they are, their problems follow. Back in the house in Tarmes, now a popular socialite destination, the
F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald as portrayed in Midnight in Paris (2011)
Divers find themselves out of favor. Dick is rude, engaging in embarrassing attempts to repeat past social successes, and becoming angry on their failure. Even Nicole begins to pity him, fearful of his ‘uncharacteristic bouts of temper’, and wondering, “Some of the time, I think it’s my fault— I’ve ruined you.” She begins to see herself as separate to Dick as their relationship subverts: Dick is now the one that needs helping, and Nicole resents dutifully providing what he needs. Dick receives her efforts defensively, and Nicole ‘hardens’, her own strength growing. She recognizes that ‘she need not, in her spirit, be forever one with Dick…she must be something in addition, not just an image on his mind’. At the end of the novel, we see Nicole leaving Dick to pursue the beginnings of a new life. Significantly, this ‘freedom’ is negotiated for her by another man, another ‘protector’, so perhaps she is not discovering true independence. She ‘cut[s] the cord forever’ with Dick, but finds herself absorbing Tommy in the same unhealthy way: ‘Everything Tommy said became a part of her forever’. Perhaps she will be destined to repeat the same mistakes again: and will never learn the important truth of solitude and self-reliance. The Divers have been viewed as a fictional version of Fitzgerald’s relationship with his schizophrenic wife, Zelda. The decadent, sometimes reckless, lifestyles of both, propelled by ‘eccentric’ and spontaneous behavior, lead to the best and the worst of times. Fitzgerald’s alcoholism developed as his relationship with Zelda struggled, and he was also enamored with a young actress called Lois Moran, on whom Rosemary is supposedly based. After a family history of mental illness and irresponsible childhood behavior, Zelda suffered her first major breakdown in 1930, and was in and out of institutions for the rest of her life. The book warns of the destructiveness of a co-dependent relationship between two people who ‘need’ rather than ‘want’ each other. It shows the importance of relying on yourself, rather than on others: as Dick says, ‘he felt it necessary that this time Nicole cure herself’. In order to have a relationship that doesn’t stifle and ultimately combust, both partners need to preserve their independence. Together, they must become more than they would be separately, not less. Despite the radical changes in society’s view of women since the publication of Fitzgerald’s final novel, many modern women still see finding a dependent relationship a life goal. Fitzgerald lays his own experiences bare, and suggests that before depending on others for security, we must first make ourselves secure.
Lorelei Lee of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes knows her way around a jewellery shop and definitely wouldnâ€™t settle for a simple bangle. When it comes to adornment, bigger is always better.
Earrings and necklace Erickson Beamon
Bracelet Erickson Beamon Jazz Age Issue
Bracelet Erickson Beamon
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Cuff Erickson Beamon Necklace Finchittida Finch (opposite)
Choker (worn as headdress) Fincittida Finch Jazz Age Issue
Choker and ring Finchittida Finch
Earrings Erickson Beamon
Necklace Erickson Beamon
Earrings Finchittida Finch Photographer: Dan Fraser Hair and make up: Kath Gould assisted by Hannah Monk Stylist: Rachel McCulloch Model: Charlie @ Elite With thanks to Erickson Beamon and Finchittida Finch Jazz Age Issue
The story illustrates Fiesta: the Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
I was very drunk and I did not want to shut my eyes because the room would go round and round. If I kept on reading that feeling would passâ€Ś.. There is no reason why because it is dark you should see things differently from when it is light. The hell there isnâ€™t!
Flappers: Hemlines get Higher
The image of the roaring twenties has to be the flapper girl. The term ‘flapper’ was originally associated with teenage girls or prostitutes, but the term evolved to describe the hedonistic, irreverent attitudes of women in the twenties who wore their hair, and their skirts, shorter than ever before. Although the term was in place, the image of a flapper did not peak in popularity until the mid twenties and in 1927 hemlines crept up to just below the knee – it only took a few kicks of the Charleston to expose their knees and thighs. Their tantalising and provocative fashions were reflected in their attitude: flappers drank in illegal speakeasies, danced all night and were sexually promiscuous – generally eschewing previous social expectations of women.
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67 Flapper dresses were embellished, colourful, loose fitting and made in delicate fabrics such as silk and chiffon, perfect for dancing. There are only a few places that you can find original twenties pieces in London and our pick is Pennies in Angel. A miniature boutique packed with vintage delights, the walls of Pennies are dedicated to their speciality twenties dresses, each one hand restored on site with like-for-like fabrics and embellishments. When there is a Jazz Age themed party in town, clients head to Pennies for a one-of-a-kind party piece. One client travelled all the way from Dublin especially for their dresses â€“ some of them are so delicate and dreamy that they would look at home in the V and A. Find Pennies at 41A Amwell Street, London EC1R 1UR.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover
“Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”Lady Chatterley’s Lover
D H Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover is one of the most famed books in the last century. Written in 1928 but not published in its unexpurgated version in Britain until 1960, it tells the story of a lonely, high class woman having an affair with her game keeper. When Penguin decided to publish the full text in 1960 they faced a gruelling obscenity trial, which they eventually won. In that year alone, Lady Chatterley’s Lover sold over two million copies. It opened the door for freedom of speech, and kick started the free spirited sixties. Although it isn’t a typically Jazz Age story with all the dazzle and glamour of a Fitzgerald tale, Connie Chatterley’s restlessness, sexual desire and rejection of social expectations is a fit for the twenties mentality. She is restricted by rules and situation, but finds a release in her relationship with the gamekeeper Mellors in the same way that flappers would head to a speakeasy for a night of debauchery. She didn’t drink endless gin cocktails and she spent her evenings doing cross stich (pre-affair) but Connie’s ideals and forward thinking attitude earn her a spot in our Jazz Age heroine hall of fame alongside Lorelei Lee, Lady Brett Ashley and Nicole Diver.
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Four letter words Lady Chatterley’s Lover, one of the great works of the 1920s was given a second coming almost 30 years after publication during the famed ‘Lady Chatterley Trial’. 50 years since the trial, obscenity and pornography are an easily acquired commodity, but why are we still so shocked by the four letter word? “... so that’s why you should always have a hacksaw around.” On a stage in a tiny theatre in East London, a liberated, middle aged woman has just told a dark room filled with women the perils of tying up your lover with handcuffs. The Story is there for research purposes of course. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a work of literary genius and filled with panting metaphors about sex in a forest, changed the face of literary and social freedom of speech when Penguin won the right to publish the unexpurgated version in 1960 (32 years after it’s completion and publication overseas). But when sex is not only a fact of life, but a pretty keen feature in literature since the ancients (Catullus’ (84-54BC) similes about birds in laps spring to mind) why would one book, detailing a woman’s adultery with her disabled husband’s gamekeeper, cause such a revolution? The fact is that books are considered high brow, academic and often perceived as stuffy. Blatant sex in literature– not for function but for pleasure – offends public sensibilities... but that doesn’t stop us smuggling the book home and reading it in comfort of our homes. To probe the ideas of discussing sex in literature, we went along to the Mucky Book Club. Its theatre debut, The Mucky Book Club (‘Literature with knobs on’) started out as – just that – a book club for ladies who love naughty literature. They aren’t interested in mucky-for-the-sake-of-mucky, these ladies have discerning tastes in literature and just happen to find pleasure in the kinky bits. But on this cold November evening they have broken out in to theatre, an evening of entertainment Mucky Books style. After the demonstration on handcuffs, we are all given a Barbie doll and some string. We are instructed to take off her clothes and then tie her up in the style of Japanese Bondage. After violating Barbie and a reading from Belle Du Jour’s Diary of a London Call Girl, we have a short break in which we are encouraged to go into a confessional booth and tell all to a woman who was going to promptly tweet our deepest secrets, the ‘Kinky Disco’ playing ‘Je t’aime’ in the background. Then Betty Herbert and Monique Roffey, who have both written sexual confessionals, were interviewed. Betty’s The 52 Seductions charts her and her husband’s sexual re-ignition, ten years in to marriage. Monique on the other hand, wrote With The Kisses of His Mouth – a sexual memoir describing in eye watering detail her mid-life sexual self discoveries where she travelled the world learning tantric tricks and Karma Sutra style flexibility. She read an extract from the book describing having her genitals typified by a South American Shamanic guru in Hereford – it turns out she is a fox ‘down there’. We leave the event wondering if we are a fox, or a wolf, or a buffalo, or even an antelope...
The evening was definitely eye opening; women getting together, talking about and teaching others about sex. One of the most taboo things about sex is not the having it, but the admitting to it. In Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Connie sits evening after evening listening to Sir Clifford and his literary chums discussing sex and relationships, but playing the dutiful wife and keeping schtum. One night, she chips in to the conversation “The men resented it... she should have pretended to hear nothing. They hated her admitting she had attended so closely to such talk.” The sentiment of the men is still relevant today. Even in
a room full of free thinking women, it definitely felt a bit naughty to be sitting watching a woman demonstrate how best to tie wrists together using silk stockings. What you get up to behind closed doors is one thing, but alluding or even admitting to it? Whoa. This is perhaps why, in 2012, whether you’re on the tube, in a pub, at the office or the gym, a regular conversation topic is “Have you read it?” Of course, the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has taken the literary world by storm and the trend in erotic literature looks like it is here to stay. ‘Mummy porn’ as it is affectionately named, isn’t just a sensation for its content but also for the question it ignites: to read in public, or not to read in public. For the first time people (mostly women) aren’t ashamed of admitting to an interest in sex, even buying it from bookstores rather than tucking it into their weekly supermarket shop and whisking it through the self checkout. Fifty Shades of Grey was the fastest selling book of all time in Foyles bookshops, but it wasn’t the Mummies they were worried about. “The issue for us is that large portions of the people buying Fifty Shades were teenagers, 13 year old school kids. Is it right for kids to be reading it? They are just going to get hold of it anyway.” Jasper Sutcliffe, Senior Buyer at Foyles, spoke to us about the controversy surrounding the boom in erotic literature. Despite the audience buying Fifty Shades being much younger than you would expect, censorship is not an option at Foyles. “We take it title by title. For example we sell Mein Kampf but we don’t sell The Anarchists Handbook.” The only book that they have had to keep behind the counter was Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses after people started smearing marmite on it. But of course why would they ban books just because a few people will be offended? “The thing is, controversy sells books” – although they did have to politely decline selling a spate of hardcore graphic novels that came from Eastern Europe. The blow of reading an erotic novel in public is softened by the cover. Since Fifty Shades’ subtle silk tie, Foyles have found that most publishers are rejacketing old editions to fit this feminine aesthetic with a stiletto or slither of satin “That jacket makes a huge difference – it’s mock risqué”. Would the lawyers at the Chatterley trial have felt better about it if the cover was bound with some subtle allusion to what is inside? A leaf perhaps, signifying the wood, or the broken picture frame that used to display Mellors’ wife? Perhaps not.
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Reading about sex is one thing, but writing it is a whole other ball game. Lawrence’s descriptions of the embraces between Connie and Mellors are pretty flowery compared to TV and film scenes that we are all used to. “As it drew
out and left her body, the secret, sensitive thing, she gave an unconscious cry of pure loss, and she tried to put it back. It had been so perfect! And she loved it so!... It was so lovely!” Something tells us if E. L James had decided to use the word ‘lovely’ more often, Fifty Shades wouldn’t have caused quite such a stir. A
writer writing badly about sex is something so regular, there is even The ‘Bad Sex Award’, a yearly event to shame ridiculous, fantasised or prudish sex scenes, to celebrate it. “Writing about sex is very difficult to do without being *nudge nudge wink wink* about it. Lots of very talented authors have trouble writing it because they feel embarrassed. Philip Roth does bad sex” says Jasper. It’s also a matter of taste of course. What to one reader could be a guilty pleasure would be a nightmare for the next, although for Foyles readers at least, one of the main motives for reading is about fantasy: “The reason why Fifty Shades has done so well now is that people are looking for escapism. They don’t want to just watch the news.” Even though we are a liberated society who read naughty books on public transport and demonstrate ‘hog ties’ on stages in Hoxton, reading four letter words beginning with ‘F’ and ‘C’ still has an impact. The Fifty Shades effect is not an example of millions of readers buying a book because it is what they are used to. They bought it to get a rise out of it, the thrill, the guilt, the provocation and the sly glee – they bought it because of the impact. In the same way, reading Mellors apostrophising Connie’s naked rear as she squats in front of the fire (“’ I like it’ he said. ‘I like it! An’ if I only lived ten minutes, an’ stroked thy arse an’ got to know it, I should reckon I’d lived one life, see ter!’”) might have horrified the prosecutors back in 1960, but it’s also what sold three million copies of Lady Chatterley’s Lover in three months. Maybe the taboo for writing about sex will never be overcome, but that won’t stop us reading it.
Size matters Centrepiece jewellery is having a comeback and we’ve spotted some pieces with unmistakably Deco elements. Lorelei Lee may have said ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ but she also knew that size matters. “Well my birthday has come and gone but it was really quite depressing. I mean it seems to me a gentleman who has a friendly interest in educating a girl like Gus Eisman, would want her to have the biggest square cut diamond in New York. I mean I must say I was quite disappointed when he came to the apartment with a little thing you could hardly see. So I told him I thought it was quite cute but that I had a headache, and that I had better stay in a dark room all day… But then he came in at dinner time with really a very very beautiful bracelet of square cut diamonds so I was really quite cheered up.” - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Day Birger et Mikkelsen £65
Anton Heunis £270
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Erickson Beamon £490 Alyssa Norton £505
Marni £260 Aurelie Bidermann £525
Pamela Love £260
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Wanderlust with Tadashi Shoji
Tadashi Shoji creates evening dresses that feel like they have sauntered out of a dream: luxurious detail and sultry femininity highlight each collection. His own sense of wanderlust, much like the characters of the Jazz Age, influences his collection. We asked him about his glamorous Autumn Winter 2012 which had more than a touch of twenties style.
What is your AW12 collection about? The AW12 collection is inspired by the Golden Age of Shanghai, a glamorous world of modernity, change, and prosperity. I focused on colours and fabrics to reflect the opulence of the era.
Your shows and designs create such a sense of fantasy – from the delicate fabrics to the intricate details. What inspires you? My travels constantly inspire me with each collection. I love to travel and have a constant feeling of wanderlust.
What is your favourite thing about 1920s style? The ladylike hemlines, drop waist silhouettes and beautiful embellishment.
What is a day in the life of Tadashi Shoji like? I wake up early to my cat, Mischa, and green tea. I check in with the showroom in New York to speak to my sales force while on my drive to the LA office. I answer emails, read and work on new designs. By the end of the day, I check in with my team in Shanghai and then am off to my dear friend and neighbour’s house for dinner. I end the day the same way as I started it, with Mischa.
You moved from Tokyo to America – were you in search of the American dream? I moved to America to attend university in Los Angeles and in turn awakened a life-long passion for fashion design. I feel lucky to be able to do it for 30 years now so in that sense– yes.
See the full collection at www.tadashishoji.com
Art Deco Digits Pointing at things, typing, holding the handle bar on the tube, tapping in your pin number: all things you’d never think could be aesthetically pleasing. Add a touch of nail art, the nation’s new obsession, and even hailing a taxi becomes the most glamorous activity of the day (so long as you make sure that taxi driver gets a good glance at your digits). We’ve looked high and low for the best nail blogger around, to transform our nails into 10 little Art Deco, Jazz Age masterpieces. Well actually we didn’t have to look too far because this girl is the business. Jenny Pasha aka 10 Blank Canvasses has only been doing nail art since 2011 but her skills, intricacy and imagination are the best we’ve seen, not surprising as she honed her craft by re-creating her favourite works of art on nails. She won the best Beauty Blog award at the 2012 Cosmo Awards even designed nails for Strictly Come Dancing. Jenny’s blog www.10blankcanvasses. com is a nail art junkie’s dream, and as she paints her nails twice a week there are regular nailspiration updates. She has designed two sets of nails for The Story, plus done a handy ‘how to’ on Art Deco nails at home. Have a go: holding your copy of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes never looked so good.
This Art Deco design was inspired by the architecture of the twenties, and for colour inspiration, Jenny looked at Roland Lirio’s SS13 collection.
These bejewelled beauties take the glitz, sparkle and sensuous shapes of Jazz Age jewellery and give it a modern twist: check out the decked out ring finger.
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How to create this look at home. You will need: Step1: Paint nails with a neutral base (Nails Inc Cadogan Square)
Step 2: Using red nail polish (OPI on Collins Avenue) and a thin brush (alternatively use a nail art pen such as Art Club) paint a thin inverted triangle at the centre of your nail and fill it in. Step 3: Continue by adding a shorter, wider triangle over the first one and fill it in. Step 4: Add a final shorter and wider triangle over the first two and fill in. Step 5: Outline all the sections using black nail polish (OPI Lady in Black).
Step 6. Finish with a top coat layer of Seche Vite to give the nails a smooth shiny look.
Literature à la Mode Books can inspire designers in their content, themes, characters and even form. Forget satchels: these are the real book bags. Olympia Le Tan: The Great Gatsby £935 Olympia Le Tan specialises in miniaudiers of the literary variety. She re-creates book covers from F Scott Fitzgerald to J D Salinger: no cover or author is out of bounds. This lady makes reading cool. Kate Spade: The Great Gatsby £205 Instead of re-presenting the classics, Kate Spade re-imagines them. Combining book cover design with handbags, we love this take on the Fitzgerald classic. What’s more, the hardware of this handbag is 14 karat gold. Daisy Buchanan would have approved. Mark Cross: Grace Bag £1,255 As well as being the perfect size to keep your favourite paperback in shape, these Mark Cross handbags have a literary history all of their own. Patrick Murphy, who took over the company from the eponymous Mark Cross was one of the figures who inspired the most celebrated Jazz Age creatives. Living in Paris and socialising with Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and Cole Porter, it is even rumoured that the charismatic couple Dick and Nicole Diver of Tender is the Night were modelled on Murphy and his wife, as they ignited the taste for spending indulgent summers on the French Riviera.
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Art Deco Fever In 1922, the sacred tomb of Ancient Egyptian king Tutankhamun was opened by 5th Earl of Carnarven George Herbert, British archaeologist Howard Carter. This simple act of breaking and entering unleashed the Anubis dog of the Art Deco movement on the Western World. Already fuelled by the machine age, intrepid explorers were soon racing back to post-industrial England and America on the trains and steam liners of the new century’s unstoppable progress to spread the word of their discoveries. Soon enough architectural monuments echoing temples and pyramids were visible on both continents, most obviously the Carreras Cigarette Factory in Chalk Farm, London (1929); Chiswick Park tube station, London (1930) and the iconic Chrysler building in New York (1930). The stepped facades, cobalt blue enamels, glossed dark surfaces and the irresistible gilded contour lines melding into mysterious hieroglyphic symbols soon found their forte in interior design, attracting the flapper girls and monogrammed gents from the 1920s through to the depression ridden 1930’s. Like all forms of visual escapism, the Art Deco feel transported high society from the worries of reality to a giddy cocktail of historical influence and modern mayhem conjured with the sheen of black lacquer, exoticism of jewelled coloured accents and bevelled mirrors reflecting back and forth the hazy memory of a past unknown. F. Scott Fitzgerald described the Art Deco movement as “all the nervous energy stored up and unexpended by the war”, and in films like ‘Bright Young Things’ or ‘Chicago’ the excitement is tangible. Yet despite the devil-may-care attitude of the bright young things so infamous of the twenties and thirties, achieving the style today demands some rigour and restrain. All too easy it would be to go Deco crazy on your own interiors but be warned, with the plethora of furnishings available you could mistakenly find yourself in a diva’s dressing room. Perhaps you would do well to remember Coco Chanel’s advice and apply it to your own home, always remove one accessory! Adorned with all manner of glitz, Kylie Minogue’s Safia and Talise cushions from her recent range are decadently Deco. Biba’s new white and grey Evie Jazz Age Issue
bedding’s neutral palette makes it a wise buy. Boudoir essential, the dressing table is a great place to amp up the volume on Deco style, mirrored furniture having been popular of late but hunt down a second hand low dressing table with a bevelled triptych vanity mirror. Now don’t be put off by the sludgy woodstain, strip that baby down and lacquer up! A mirrored jewellery box, tasselled perfume atomiser and a few cut glass pieces later and you’re a twenties darling! At the bedside, frame your own Gatsby in Wedgwood’s Vera Wang black and silver frames and on the wall there simply must be an Erte print, the great headdress and Pharaoh hounds scream Nefertiti! The most important maxim of Modernism is “form follows function” and the most active characters of many a great style movement can be found at the bar. It stands to reason then that an elegant cocktail shaker and champagne bowls will be found in the entertaining quarters of the Deco darling and the long and slender stems on these Casa Couture glasses are gorgeous to swill your champers in. For a punch of colour in the living room these Meyer scatter cushions from Made.com where boutique pieces are always reduced in price could really give a kick of flapper style to your sofa.
Jazz Age Jargon Babe: Woman (also Bim, Broad, Chick, Dame, Jane, Kitten, Sister, Skirt, Twist) Bean-shooter: A gun Bee’s Knees: A brilliant thing, person or idea Blower: The telephone Bluenose: A prude
Boob: A dumb or stupid man (also Palooka) Boozehound: An incessant drinker Bruno: A tough guy/strong man
Cabbage: Money (also Spinach, Rhino) Canary: Female singer Cat: Man (also Egg, Mac, Pal)
Cat’s Meow: A stylish or slick thing Chippy: Loose woman Daisy: A camp man
Drum: A speakeasy Duck soup: Simple, easy Flaming Youth: Male equivalent, companion to a Flapper.
Flapper: The image of the Twenties – a stylish woman with short skirts and short hair. Flat Tire: A dull or dreary date
Glad rags: Smart or fancy clothes Hinky: Suspicious Hooch: Alcohol
Ice: Diamonds Kisser: Mouth Looker: An attractive woman (also Tomato) Ritzy: Elegant or glamorous
Sheba: A woman with sex appeal (after Betty Blythe in The Queen of Sheba) Sheik: A man with sex appeal (after Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik) Sing: To confess
Spiffy: Looking smart or elegant
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