Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Inspiration: the 1920's

It all started when I returned to Mexico after a wonderful summer in the U.S.  I went out with one of my dear friends just to watch a movie and relax.  I didn't know what we'd see, and my friend chose the Woody Allen flick, Midnight in Paris.  I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised with a beautiful, fun, inspiring film about one of the most artistic cities in the world.

Image Source: Amazon.Com
 What's more- I'm newly teaching The Great Gatsby in my U.S. Lit class this year.  It's great to find connections between the modern media and the curriculum.  I hope by the time we read the book (in November) we can get a copy of the film to inspire us in class. 

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The visuals of the film were exquisite, and you get the idea that these times of the past exist with us now.  In a way, they do.  They exist in our hearts, and in our history.  They influence us and inspire us in ways we don't even know. 

Image Source: amsu-english.wikispaces.com
 For instance, right now we're reading The Catcher in the Rye (1940's, I know.) in my U.S. Lit class.  I remember being floored by the writing- the voice- when I first read it.  So frank, so informal.  I read it in the early 1990s, about 45 years after the first publication.  Now, about 20 years after that, with the advent of blogs, and with the emphasis on the individual, with the disregard for the conventions of the English language, with reality television, and with all of the other works that have been influenced by and even attempt to emulate Salinger's style, I fear that the impact of the voice is lost.  It's still a worthy piece of literature, but perhaps it seems a bit less revolutionary.  However, that would tell us how far we've come, and just how influential this particular piece of literature has been.

So, the past exists with us now, and, inspired by the film, in which the main character actually visits the 1920s and meets his historic literary and artistic idols, I spent hours on the internet finding more information about Hemingway, Stein, Baker, Brunel, and the movements of the time.

Image Source: danliterature.files.wordpress.com
I downloaded the A Moveable Feast audiobook and listened to it three times that weekend.  I watched surrealist films on youtube. I decided I'd love to be Josephine Baker for Halloween this year.  And I moved forward, inspired by the 1920s and the movements of the time.

Then my favorite crochet fashionistas, The Double Stitch Twins released this pic in their Etsy shop
Click through to find this garment for sale on Etsy.Photo credit: Double Stitch Twins
I think it would be perfect for a Josephine Baker costume 
(in white over a long, simple, white sheath dress).
Image Source: findagrave.com
 It would be easy to find feathers and big jewels.

One last taste of the 1920s for you:  Vogue Magazine tweeted the Marc Jacobs Spring 2011 Collection from NYC Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.  

Images by Vogue Magazine