A Book Review | Nanette Lepore visits the 1920s

I SHOULD be reading material for my classes, but instead what I AM reading is The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty.  I do love escaping into historical fiction, especially when clothing is used to help set the scene.  Passages like this make me want to make an early 1920s transitional ensemble slightly longer than presumably then-fashionable, and roll my waistband:

Viola crossed her arms.  “Well, if my girls do cut their hair, I can tell you now, it won’t be so they can throw away hairpins.  They’ll do it to be provocative.  To look provocative.  That’s what passes for fashion these days.  That’s what young people are all about now.”  She sounded suddenly stricken, more confused than indignant.  “I don’t understand it, Cora.  I raised them to have propriety.  But both of them are suddenly obsessed with showing the world their knees.  They roll their skirts up after they leave the house.  I can tell by the waistbands.  I know they defy me.  They roll their stockings down, too.”  She gazed out into the rain, lines branching beneath her eyes.  “What I don’t know is why, what’s going on in their little heads, why they don’t care about the message they’re sending.  When I was young, I never felt the need to show the general public my knees.”

So the novel (and the clothing references) aren’t completely historically accurate…but then again, neither was Gone With the Wind, and who can argue with the popularity of that piece of fiction?  The Chaperone is a fun escape into the 1920s for those last days of summer.

And speaking of 1920s…I’ve had my eye on this black-and-gold silk from Gorgeous Fabrics for a while now, envisioning some glamorous Erte-esque drapery suitable for an evening event.

And just recently I was at TJ Maxx, when lo and behold, there was the same fabric, made into a top by Nanette Lepore!


Yay or nay?  I think it’s the bee’s knees, personally!


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