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Flapper evening cap

#2581 $750

Deco sequined evening cap, c.1925

Art Deco in fashion emphasized geometric designs and curvilinear forms; not surprising, because it took its inspiration from Deco fashion illustration. Our super stylish flapper cap is an exemplar of that branch of Art Deco known as streamlined modernism. It influenced most aspects of 1920s design and seems fresh and relevant today.

By the late 1920s, the bell-shaped cloche had been pared down to the skull cap, obeying the dictates of the new streamlined modernism. Because of the demotion of structure and shape, surface ornamentation—rather than silhouette—came to the fore in the Deco style.

The simplified shape of the flapper evening cap cried out for elaborate surface decoration. Here the embroidered design uses an ingenious mix of glittering sequins and coiled metallic spirals, a favored geometric design element. The gold metallic cord used to form the spirals has developed a lovely burnished bronze patina. The cap is lined with dark burgundy silk.

The skull cap was a great favorite with the Bright Young Things, young aristocrats and socialites in 1920s London who threw elaborate fancy dress parties and went on treasure hunts through nighttime London. They were played up by writers like Nancy Mitford (Highland Fling) and Anthony Powell (A Dance to the Music of Time). Cecil Beaton began his career in photography by documenting this set, of which he was a member.

They lived glamorous, dissipated lives animated by an antic absurdity and frantic fear of boredom. The glittering skull cap, like flapper fashion generally, was meant to capture the attention of the male of the species. If the flapper also flaunted social norms, she did what was necessary to snare her man.

After the decimation of WWI, upper class young women far outnumbered eligible men. The flapper's older sister in 1913 could count on her social connections and modest good looks to produce a proposal of marriage after her coming out. The flapper of 1921, however, had a more difficult task in finding a suitable beau. If the world was shocked at times by the flapper's dress and demeanor, that was of little concern to her.

The condition is excellent.

The circumference is 23"

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