The forms of entertainment familiar to 1930’s are in full swing again and vaudeville and burlesque clubs as well as sophisticated cocktail societies are mushrooming in Big Apple. As these forms of escapism have experienced a new renaissance so has the style of the times of prohibition. Chops and bespoke suits have resurrected once again and judging from the campaigns of make up companies and fashion designers collections, so have the vintage looks of Va-Va-Voom vamps.
All though this phenomena has been evident already from the beginning of 2008, maybe foreseeing the economical hardship and turmoils of the end of the year, it seems to be accelerating more and more while the glooming economy pumps fuel in to the machine. But why back to the 1930’s style and lifestyle then, why not to the 70’s or 90’s? And what’s the deal with “mixology” made cocktails and tassel twirling?
One explanation for the nostalgic upheaval of the era of the beginning of the 20th century might lay in the prevalent consumer trends and changes in values. Love for handmade, tailored quality products and authentic, local stories (and brands) feels like a fresh breath after era of of global mass production and conspicuous consumption. Newly appreciated, locally and sustainably produced long lasting goods, food and clothes will have long lasting effects both on environment as well as on consciousness. The trend is also more than evident in the restaurant scene with menus filed with dishes like “house-grounded heritage pork” and “winter vegetable slaw” . Going back in time won’t of course save the economy or environment, but now when US and western countries seem to be stepping in to the new Obama -era of responsibility, there might be some lessons to be learned from the consumption habits of the hard times.
When it comes to the drivers behind the new upheaval of Burlesque and Vaudeville, one of the reasons is presumably the art-forms more accepting and emancipating conception of female body. Burlesque offers a counter cultural safe haven and new ideals for women of all sizes and ages. So we might add something new to New York’s former mayor Fiorello LaGuardia’s words ” Burlesque is entertainment for morons and perverts”, like maybe few words about talented beauties and innovative performers.