HISTORY OF VINTAGE HANDBAG 1920S: Movement and Modernism

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HISTORY OF VINTAGE HANDBAG

 1920S:  Movement and Modernism

 

The 1920s were all about movement, from the flying fringes of the Charleston dress to the streamlined silhouette of the new automobiles; both were symbols of the new modernity that came to define the age and signified a break from the past.

Handbags reflected this desire for the new and the modern. The drawstring bag,

Drooping from a languid wrist, was finally out of style, and the emergence of the clutch propelled the handbag towards the future.

 

 Made of Bakelite and Perspex, in the clashing colors and vibrant patterns of the Art Deco movement and the decade’s obsession with all things Egyptian, the clutch represented the aesthetic preoccupations of the age.

 

 

Aspects of modernism had existed since 1914, in Cubism, Expressionism, Futurism, and abstraction in painting, but it was not until after the war that modernism made its mark on everyday life, from Marcel Breuer’s tubular chair designed in 1925, to the architecture of the Bauhaus, founded in 1919.

 

 The post-war world had seen a seismic shift away from the discredited attitudes, hierarchies and prejudices of the prewar world. Manifestos of Cultural Revolution appeared; the arts influenced fashion and the avant-garde became mainstream.  With the advent of modernism, the twentieth century was about to really begin.

 

Just as stuffy, heavily decorated Victorian interiors and restrictive corsets were rejected, so, too, was the impractical reticule with its dainty flounces and drawstring opening.  This was the era when bags became a vital fashion accessory to a total look, rather than merely a useful adjunct. 

 

he new bags were streamlined exercises in restraint when decoration was perceived as “feminine” and trivial, an attitude influenced by the writings of the Austrian architect Adolf Loos. “Freedom from ornament is a sign of spiritual strength,” he wrote in his defining essay “Ornament and Crime” in 1908, and he anticipated that with female economic independence, “velvet and silk, flowers and ribbons, feathers and paint will fail to have their effect.” Certainly, there was an element of androgyny about the rangy, elongated silhouette of a new phenomenon, the 1920s flapper girl.

 

HISTORY OF VINTAGE HANDBAG

 1920S:  Movement and Modernism

 

The 1920s were all about movement, from the flying fringes of the Charleston dress to the streamlined silhouette of the new automobiles; both were symbols of the new modernity that came to define the age and signified a break from the past.

Handbags reflected this desire for the new and the modern. The drawstring bag,

Drooping from a languid wrist, was finally out of style, and the emergence of the clutch propelled the handbag towards the future.

 

 Made of Bakelite and Perspex, in the clashing colors and vibrant patterns of the Art Deco movement and the decade’s obsession with all things Egyptian, the clutch represented the aesthetic preoccupations of the age.

 

 

Aspects of modernism had existed since 1914, in Cubism, Expressionism, Futurism, and abstraction in painting, but it was not until after the war that modernism made its mark on everyday life, from Marcel Breuer’s tubular chair designed in 1925, to the architecture of the Bauhaus, founded in 1919.

 

 The post-war world had seen a seismic shift away from the discredited attitudes, hierarchies and prejudices of the prewar world. Manifestos of Cultural Revolution appeared; the arts influenced fashion and the avant-garde became mainstream.  With the advent of modernism, the twentieth century was about to really begin.

 

Just as stuffy, heavily decorated Victorian interiors and restrictive corsets were rejected, so, too, was the impractical reticule with its dainty flounces and drawstring opening.  This was the era when bags became a vital fashion accessory to a total look, rather than merely a useful adjunct. 

 

he new bags were streamlined exercises in restraint when decoration was perceived as “feminine” and trivial, an attitude influenced by the writings of the Austrian architect Adolf Loos. “Freedom from ornament is a sign of spiritual strength,” he wrote in his defining essay “Ornament and Crime” in 1908, and he anticipated that with female economic independence, “velvet and silk, flowers and ribbons, feathers and paint will fail to have their effect.” Certainly, there was an element of androgyny about the rangy, elongated silhouette of a new phenomenon, the 1920s flapper girl.

 

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