For anyone unfamiliar with the name Clara Bow, she was the very definition of a star during the silent film era. Bow's vibrant personality and magnetic onscreen presence made her the iconic "flapper girl" of the 1920's. Fashion would never be the same after she hit the scene with her pouty red lips, short bob hairdo and bold art deco designs, cementing a moment in time, that to this day, is still hailed as one of the high points in American style. Today, flapper fashion has enjoyed a resurgence as women continue to reclaim the era with the shapeless shift dress and the cloche hat that has been spotted on the street and in the media. Art Deco Jewellery, which puts an emphasis on dramatic colours and striking geometric shapes, have become the one piece the makes an outfit come together.
Today, the modern flapper dress has been adopted by a number of designers to showcase the playful, fun side of evening wear. Short hemlines that hit well above the knee are being accentuated with a fringe bottom, and metallic sequin brocade patterns, that recall the days of The Great Gatsby. Born out of the rebellion of women who were no longer denied the right to vote, or living under socially repressive conditions, make-up became heavier, a statement that is still being made today. Women today are sporting the heavy eyeliner, tweezed eyebrows and red, heart shaped lips that made Clara Bow the "it" girl of her time.
Another influence of the roaring twenties can be seen with the appearance of pants as a fashion statement. A popular symbol of the growing expressive power of women during the 1920's, the sleek, tailored silhouette of trousers paired with a stark white blouse are as contemporary now as they were then. While much of the impact of flapper style has been pretty noticeable, most people forget that the shoes we see today didn't exist before the early twenties. Today's ornate straps across the foot, and that every growing heel, echoes the beginning of fashion independence.
The most enduring look to carry over from the 1920's has to be the bob haircut. Accented by the razor sharp bangs across the forehead, and straight edged sides that hang right below the ears, one can almost imagine Clara Bow standing before her Art Deco Mirror and putting the finishing touches on a look that would prove to be timeless.