All posts by Jazz Age Club

Le Grand Ecart, Paris

Le Grand Ecart, Paris

At once the most exclusive, chicest and smallest nightclub in Paris in the Jazz Age of the 1920s was Le Grand Ecart at 7 Rue Fromentin (just off the Boulevard Clichy and not far from Place Blanche and the Moulin Rouge) and created by Louis Moyses, creator of the other legendary venue Boeuf sur le Toit.

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Val St Cyr and Baroque Ltd

Val St Cyr and Baroque Ltd

Val St Cyr as the house of Baroque was a major force in the dress-designing world of London in the Jazz Age and beyond. Long forgotten and ignored, Val St Cyr’s  work was nevertheless magnificent and was characterized by being original, idiosyncratic, innovative and daring.

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Merci et Cie the Movie Modiste

Merci et Cie the Movie Modiste

Post World War 1 there was renewed optimism for the British Film industry and various moves were made to improve the quality of productions with effective and original costume design recognised as being of crucial importance. Between 1919-1922 this was evident by the formation of two dress designing departments at the newly formed Islington studio for Famous Players Lasky, headed by Marcelle de St Martin and the Alliance Studios, headed by Gladys Jackson. But there were various other independent designers rising to the occasion as well. One such person was the fashion designer and costumier Mde de Petier of Merci et Cie (sometimes spelt Mercie) based at 90 Charing Cross Road, whose business was described as ‘milliners.’

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Sophie Rosenberg

Sophie Rosenberg

The discovery of a feature in Dance Magazine from December 1924 about the New York modiste Sophie Rosenberg has sent me on a slight detour from my current research. It would appear that she was a significant figure in the New York fashion design world from 1915 right through to the mid 1950s. Taking her inspiration from her yearly trips to Paris, Rosenberg created original designs with a Parisian air. Her enterprises evolved in 1915 in conjunction with her husband under various names and in 1935 she entered into a rather disastrous and short-lived business arrangement with Gloria Vanderbilt before re-establishing her independence.

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Erna Carise

Erna Carise

I particularly love an art deco sketch by Erna Carise from 1927 that I discovered in one of my Parisian magazines simply called ‘Jazz’. So I decided to do a little digging and discovered that she had been a rather glamorous dancer and songstress in Paris, Berlin and New York from the late 1920s through to the 1940s and also had a talent as a costume designer or artist.

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The Rocky Twins: Norway’s Outrageous Jazz Age Beauties

The Rocky Twins: Norway’s Outrageous Jazz Age Beauties by Gary Chapman

Admired for being stunningly handsome, the Norwegian Rocky Twins were dancers who had a ten-year career in Europe and America appearing on stage and in film between 1927-1937. Their beauty, their androgynous look and their outrageous antics made them legendary

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Dancing World Magazine

Dancing World Magazine

A few years ago I acquired a magnificent run of 25 copies of the rare British magazine The Dancing World. It is a remarkable publication spanning the period from May 1920 to at least March 1924, and at the last check, only one copy is held by the British Library. As a result this is a truly unique find that will be invaluable to researchers of the Jazz Age. But the bigger picture is that it also sheds light on the activity of William Mitchell who created the Palais de Danse in Hammersmith and Birmingham and was also behind Rector’s Club, one of the most fashionable nights-club rendezvous in London.

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Dolly Tree: A Dream of Beauty

Dolly Tree: A Dream of Beauty by Gary Chapman

A long lost artistic genius of the Jazz Age, Dolly Tree was famous on both sides of the Atlantic, for her extravagant creations that appeared in stage shows, cabaret, couture and film in the glamorous 1920s and 1930s. It is now time for her to be reclaimed as one of the great British dress-designers of the 20th century

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The Dolly Sisters in Pictures

The Dolly Sisters in Pictures by Gary Chapman

The glamorous life of the Dolly Sisters as seen in 200 photographic images. Capturing their rise to fame and fortune, from their birth in Budapest, through Jazz Age New York, London, Paris and the Riviera, it reveals their full story in pictures

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