The View From the Dresser’s Room (archive 12/09)

by @style

The View From The Dresser’s Room

I don’t know if any of you saw BBC 4’s Season of Glamour last month? It was a fascinating insight into one of the Twentieth Century’s most evocative eras; the 1920s. Of the series, one documentary in particular shone out as interesting, relevant and totally glamorous, Glamour’s Golden Age – Beautiful and Damned which told the story of London’s Bright Young People.

The so-called Bright Young People were a select group of ‘well connected’ upper middle class and aristocratic young people whose exploits through the capital caused uproar in throughout the twenties. Of the group there are certainly some names you will recognise and some you almost definitely won’t. For example, Evelyn Waugh, author of Brideshead Revisited and Vile Bodies, Cecil Beaton, fashion photographer extraordinaire, the Mitford sisters and Diana Guinness (previously Mitford, later Mosley) and then those you won’t have heard of but who were the uber-celebrities of their day; Elizabeth Ponsonby, Brian Howard, Stephen Tennant and Brenda Dean Paul among others.

There’s not much information available online about the phenomenon, but I can highly recommend D.J Taylor’s probing book, Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940. It is an excellent resource for anyone interested in Edwardian culture, but in particular the fashions, the parties, the scandal and the goings on of this fascinating but doomed generation.

Evelyn Waugh (star member of the Bright Young Set) wrote the book Vile Bodies from the very inner sanctum of the crowd and it was then made into a film directed by Stephen Fry, Bright Young Things which is also definitely worth a look.

So, it’s also that time of year again….the C word is coming! My Christmas list is in almost finished and among my wishes is a silver fox jacket (I’ve sold so much fur in the shop recently I had two girls fighting over the last one a few weeks ago, fret not, I have loads!) The Eyes of Laura Mars DVD (all fans of Guy Bourdin must see this film!) The Golden Age of Couture by Claire Wilcox and an antique Russian Posad shawl (incredible prints and gorgeous colours).

If you’re looking for an interesting birthday present for someone come in and have a look around the shop. I’ve got a huge collection of antique and vintage beaded evening bags, custom made fur collars and cuffs for over jackets, amazing new vintage costume jewellery and much more. I’m also now doing gift vouchers, which might be an easier option!

The 'Bright Young People' in all their glory

An early portrait by Cecil Beaton

Fabulous film, worth watching for the costumes alone!

Great book, i recommend

The Golden Age of Couture