The 1920s has always been one of our favorites eras. Fashion wise, the undeniable glamour paired with a new wave of androgynous playfulness made it a unique and exciting time for women’s fashion and liberation. Creatively, the 1920s marked the birth of the silent film era, architectural innovations and a spirit of excess, creating the Gatsby-esque world we’ve come to love and admire. We partnered with the talented Echo Park-based photographer, Rollence Patugan, to create images nostalgic of this time and place.
Creative and Architectural Boom
The 1920s, otherwise known as the “Age of Chic” in fashion terms, was a glorious time of wealth, creative expression and glamour. In Los Angeles in particular, the birth of film and Hollywood first emerged, coining LA “The Emerald City.” The Hollywoodland sign made its first appearance, and the Hollywood Bowl had its first philharmonic orchestral concert in 1922. It was this birth and boom that made Los Angeles a relevant home for art, film, fashion and creativity.
In Echo Park in particular, The Mack Sennett Studio was the first ever movie studio built right here on Glendale Blvd. Chaplin’s first film was shot at the studio, “along with the very first feature length comedy ever made.” With 80% of the world’s movies being filmed in Los Angeles, Echo Park was a main cultural hub and epicenter for movie magic, becoming the home to many silent film stars and other creatives from the studios.
Though the actual construction of Victorian style homes had decreased by this time with the newfound popularity of the Craftsman/California bungalow, the homes on Carroll Ave were still intact and celebrated as architectural landmarks in the neighborhood. As the popularity of the neighborhood increased, so did the housing demands. Angelino Heights began to form into the neighborhood we know it as today, with a myriad of architectural styles surrounding the great Victorians of Carroll Ave.
Perhaps one of the greatest eras women’s fashion has seen, the 1920s birthed garments of “unusual magnificence, luxurious works of decorative art. Gowns now declared a new ideal of beauty – slenderness. The feminine shape was decreed to be straight and angular, echoing the influence of Les Arts Decoratifs.” Chanel and Lanvin were popular designers at the time, and ease and freedom became the trend in response to the confines of Victorian fashion. This didn’t take away the element of glamour, however, and many dresses were heavily embellished with beads and exquisite jewelry.
The archetypal flapper look set the standard for hair and makeup, popularizing the “short crop,” chignon and bob. “The singular evening makeup look of the 1920s was the cupid’s bow lips, heavily rouged cheeks and kohl shadowed eyes,” a sultry new look also known as the “vamp.”
In our 1920s shoot on Carroll Ave, we paid homage to these popular styles of fashion and beauty, depicting both the glamour and playfulness inherent in this era. With Patugan’s keen sense of lighting and style, and with Carroll Avenue as our backdrop, we warped back in time to reimagine the stunning specimens of fashion parading the streets where budding silent starts called home.