Many thanks to Denise of Blue Gardenia for featuring my sewing space in her continuing series. Run over and check her out if you haven’t already.
I spent the weekend dreaming and sketching and searching for inspiration. The Real Cabaret was low on my iView list, but eventually I clicked on it. What a treat. I knew Cabaret as some musical with Liza Minelli, but confess complete ignorance of the substance of the movie.
It’s based on Goodbye Berlin by Christopher Isherwood. As a young homosexual Englishman in the 30’s, he moved to Berlin. At the time, Berlin experienced an unprecedented level of sexual and political freedom. One way Berliners expressed this freedom was through the cabaret- not a simple titillating floor show, but also a medium for playing with music and sound, as well as challenging the rising Nazi government and social conventions. Women in particular experienced a level of freedom and equality not seen again until the Sexual Revolution.
Jean Ross, a writer of considerable wit and the basis for Sally Bowles, the main character in Cabaret. I like her outfit here- plain and severe, yet flowing and undoubtedly comfortable. I bet I could knock off a little shirt like that. Patch pockets on the front of her trousers. Ballet flats, sarcasm and smooth dark hair? I got that.
The documentary inspired some digging on my part, which turned up two new-to-me artists, Christian Schad:
And Otto Dix:
This is the not-so-mainstream late 20’s and 30’s. You won’t find any of these ladies on a Simplicity pattern envelope. I especially like the girl in a man’s suit, and the sexually potent older woman portrayed as simply beautiful, rather than predatory.
At the same time, they are completely accessible and offer me a great deal of style inspiration- how to wear that fabric flower, makeup inspiration, etc. I look forward to mining Weimar Germany and finding out how women dressed.
Edited to add:
Anita Berber, thoroughly unconventional, pioneer of tuxedos for women, used her body and her sexuality as a form of protest.
What elements of Weimar-chic strike your fancy?
Thanks to everyone who expressed encouragement and concern after my quilting post. I feel much, much more at peace now.