AN AIR OF ABANDON 1920s Hair & Beauty

Thursday 20 October / 6–8pm

‘Blue round the eyes, a scarlet mouth and the rest dead white against a background of shiny metal-black hair’ Aldous Huxley, Point Counterpoint (1923)

Fashion experts Caroline Cox, author and Cultural Trends Advisor at Vidal Sassoon, and Maggie Norden, Communication Director at the School of Media and Communication, London College of Fashion, present an evening of Jazz Age hair and beauty in which they explore the style of the era and its relationship with modernism.

The 1920s encompasses not only the creation of the modern cosmetics and beauty industry, but also the power of the movies to shape taste and behaviour. Access to stockings, shoes and cosmetics, as well as to magazines that documented the latest trends, contributed to an extraordinary shift in women’s opportunities to explore and express themselves. The time had come for many women to have their hair cut short, but what shaped the transformative club-cut or Eton crop? Why was the ‘bob’ so revolutionary? And, why are so many of us still intrigued by this era’s elegance? Is it simply because it is a decade that’s easy to recreate on screen? Join us at this talk in which Caroline Cox considers the beauty influences that shaped the Jazz Age, focusing on the rebellious and transformative bob haircut; and Maggie Norden shares her interest in Screen Style, with specific reference to some remarkable women pioneers and their modes of ‘fun’.

Maggie Norden is the communication director in the School of Media and Communication at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts. Norden is also a broadcaster and documentary producer.

Professor Caroline Cox is an international authority on fashion history. She is Honorary Professor at the University of Arts, London and International Trends Consultant at Vidal Sassoon. Originally trained as an art historian, she moved into fashion theory and history to become Head of Cultural Studies at the London College of Fashion. Her books include Lingerie: A Lexicon of Style, Stiletto and Grown-up Glamour.

The event starts at 6pm with a drink in the Museum foyer and opportunity to view the exhibition 1920s Jazz Age Fashion & Photographs; the talk and discussion follows at 6.15pm for 6.20pm in the Fashion Studio and lasts for approximately one hour including the chance to ask questions at the end. Ticket includes admission to the exhibition and guests are welcome to view this before or after the talk.

Price £15 / £12 students includes a complimentary drink and exhibition entry.

Book online
Numbers are limited for this event, please book early to avoid disappointment. If you have any questions about this event please complete our enquiry form.

Image: Gilda Gray, 1925 Courtesy © James Abbe Archive

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