The Roaring Twenties were an era of decadence, exhuberance and celebration after the dark years of World War I. With the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs held in Paris in 1925, the Art Deco style asserted its influence over fashion, architecture, and the decorative arts. A new visual language was also emerging from avant garde artists; Cubism, Dada and Jazz music would change society's perception of the world around them. Here are three women whos exotic and streamlined looks made them fashion stars.
1. Josephine Baker
American dancer Josephine Baker joined her first vaudeville troupe in New York as a teen after passing a particularly miserable and rough childhood. She achieved some notoriety in the States, but it was her first performance in Paris in 1925 that made her a sensation. Often appearing partially nude onstage, Josephine reveled in fashion and appeared wearing exotic costumes covered in feathers and sequins. Her streamlined body and sleek wardrobe made her an Art Deco ideal in Paris.
2. Baba d'Erlanger
Baba, Princesse de Faucigny-Lucinge was a Parisian socialite who lived a life of leisure with her handsome husband. Her striking presence made her a favorite of Modernist couturiers like Lucien Lelong; she was sleek, sophisticated, and severe in her fashion choices. In addition to her minimalist, monochromatic wardrobe, Baba had large kohl rimmed eyes, scarlet lips, and laquered bobbed hair. Her angular face and body, combined with her almost metallic good looks made the Princess look like a Cubist painting come to life.
3. Nancy Cunard
Nancy Cunard was a British-American heiress and socialite who took Paris by storm in the twenties. She was a writer, and befriended and acted as muse to artists such as Man Ray, Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound and Constantin Brancusi. Her physical appearance was like a work of art; she was always dresses in exotic, excentric creations with equally dramatic makeup and jewelry. Cunard lived a deliciously scandalous life in Paris; she was known to smoke marijuana, and fraternize with American jazz musicians.