Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

All That Jazz


The camberwell beauty., Digital ID 1200598, New York Public LibraryIn the exhibition, “A Rakish History of Men’s Wear,” I tackled the issue of music as a key factor in the development of street fashion. Twentieth century casual sportswear took many cues from hip hop. If you walk the short round through “Art Deco Design: Rhythm and Verve,” you’ll find you don’t want to escape from the twelve-minute tape loop of music in the gallery.

Therein lies a genuine clue. The toe-tapping quality of 1920s syncopation filtered right into the realm of fashion. Jazz babies, flappers—their garments go with the beat of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Milton Ager, and Jimmy Johnson. There’s an irrepressible quality to the various dances of the period, whether the Black Bottom, Texas Tommy, or the Charleston. Even the musicals that many of these songs were derived from have expressive titles: “Girl Crazy,” “Runnin’ Wild,” and Lady, Be Good!” If you want an honest background to the role of popular music, here is one choice among many. One of the most revisionist studies available is a British history, From blues to rock.

Protogonius fabius., Digital ID 1200558, New York Public LibraryImagine my delight when I discovered a blog with ambitions as big as the music of the times. Octavine Illustration: Celebrating Art Deco, Travel, Music, Illustration, Handmade Craft & Calligraphy aspires to recreate images and ideas from the Art Deco style. Cara Buchalter deserves kudos for creating a living, active dreamspace.    


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

Thank You!~

Oh Paula!~ What a beautiful blog. It is everything I love to read about. Thank you so much for the mention; quite an honor indeed. I will come around often to explore and gain inspiration from you. I thank you for that as well. Cheers!~ cara Cara Buchalter Octavine Illustration

Great Lecture!

Dear Ms. Baxter, I thoroughly enjoyed your talk on "Fashions of the Art Deco Era" on November 6. As a speaker you were delightful, full of anecdotes, personal and otherwise, and you infused your comments with humor and a wonderful outlook on where we've been and where we're going. To combine the historical perspective of the Great Depression with the recent economic crisis and the parallel election results plus the influence on fashion and lifestyle was nothing short of genius. It would seem that you have some outstanding material in your archives to draw from as each image was superb. I especially liked the vintage photo of Father Prohibition hanging from a flag post. My impression of what goes on inside the stuffy building at 42nd and 5th has forever been changed by you!

more books

I have on my to-read shelf "Classic Chic: Music, Fashion, and Modernism" that is on topic with this post.

Post new comment