Making A Flap

By Sharon Mosley

March 14, 2012 3 min read

Come on. Shimmy on down. Think "The Great Gatsby," "Downton Abbey," "The Artist," Wallis Simpson.

There's a nostalgic wave of Jazz Age fever hitting the fashion scene. Enter Cafe Society from the 1920s and '30s, when fringe fluttered, beads sparkled and sequins swished around the dance floor. The Golden Age has made a grand entrance and is back in style again.

Chanel's spring collection was a special collection of feathery cocktail dresses sparkling with beads. Prabal Gurung's nod to the Jazz Age included a standout ostrich feathered coat (my personal favorite). Ralph Lauren did a feather wrap over his icy white beaded sheath dresses.

And then there's always Gucci's interpretation of the trend -- in short, cropped tops and skirts dripping with fringe, and flapper dresses in black and gold bugle beads. Prada does the "carwash" fringed skirt, and Marc Jacobs really gives fringe a modern look with his futuristic take on a black coat, skirt and shirt.

But perhaps Ralph Lauren best captures the Golden Age with glamorous gowns worthy of Daisy Buchanan -- all in white lace chemises accessorized with long ropes of white pearls.

Here's how to jazz up your wardrobe this spring:

--Go long and lean. The sleeveless gowns in the '20s and '30s were sleek and sexy -- not clingy -- but very liberating. So go for the flow. The drapey bias-cuts are flattering on most women. Add swathes of sashes, tassels and fringe and you've got a lot to celebrate! It's all in the swing, you know!

--Sparkle and shine. Embroideries, appliques and geometric prints all shine in this era of renewed elegance that shines once again in an era when exoticism claims our ultimate fashion fantasies. Shiny silks, velvety lames and sequined chiffons are all so romantic.

--Fluff it up. The three F's: feathers, fringe and fur. Add some friends, and you've got a party -- and the perfect party dress. Throw on your boa and be off! Have a charity event this spring or summer? Liven it up in a dress fitted out with fantastical feathers. You may only wear it once, but that one time will certainly be memorable.

Accessories are key to this Jazz Age trend. If you don't feel like doing the Charleston in a swinging beaded chemise, just add a little extra extravagant touch to your little black dress. Think brooches, buckles and clips. Think deco-inspired hair jewels, swinging chandelier-tasseled earrings, tiny beaded clutch purses, long, fringed scarves, cloche hats and crocheted gloves. Not to mention beaded slippers -- tres chic!

Sharon Mosley's weekly column, "In Fashion," can be found at

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