Rebels or Revolutionaries?
In the 1920s in Britain and America, a new woman made her debut in a post-war society.
The hemline of her dress became shorter. So did her hair.
She smoked in public. She drank alcohol too.
She listened to Jazz music. She showcased her Charleston dance skills.
She enjoyed the company of young men at 'Petting Parties'.
Bandages were tied around her chest to flatten her breasts, so her figure could resemble that of a 'Garconne' - a little boy.
Some would say she was a rebel. Some would say a revolutionary.
But she was better known as, 'The Flapper'.
During the First World War, millions of young men went to fight for King and Country, meaning that a labour vacuum had been created at home in the fields and factories. For many women, this was the first time they would be working and earning in jobs their husbands, brothers and father would have otherwise done so. The war allowed these women to temporarily free themselves from societal expectations of women.
Once the war ended in 1918, they were determined not to return to their pre-war way of life where they were confined to the rigid structure of the supposed place of women in society. Having seen a whole generation of young men wiped out due to the War, these young girls and women sought to make the most of their lives. This attitude of 'doing as one pleases' found it's way into the realms of women's fashion, and thus the Flapper Girl was born.
We believe that the Flapper Girl was less about fashion, and more about attitude. Fashion was her means of self-expression. Ultimately, what the Flapper woman illustrated was the luxury of choice - from undoing the shackles of a limited mindset to strapping on a pair of Mary-Janes. The choice was hers.
These women challenged the so-called 'acceptable behaviour of women' of their parents generation. They were not prepared to allow society to define the ideals of womanhood for them. In many ways, these women (breaking free from the conservative Victorian ideals of womanhood) paved the way for the 'modern woman' from her thoughts, habits and dress.
Does this make them Rebels or Revolutionaries...?
A man can enjoy jazz music, smoke, drink alcohol, wear what clothes he likes and please himself in the company of women.
What word do we use to describe this type of man?
Are we debating whether such men are rebels or revolutionaries? Such is the double-standard of society.
Photographed by Hernoor
Modelled by Sukhman
Makeup by Savi Grewal