Party like it’s 1920: Take the best of the last century into the next
By Andi Endruhn, Publishing Editor
The 1920s might have been 100 years ago but that doesn’t mean we can’t have just as much fun. Photo courtesy of History Collection
If you’re anything like me, a couple of years ago you had the realization that in the very-near future when you said “the 20s” you would be talking about the present, not the past. Farewell to the Great Gatsby champagne -soaked parties that populate our collective imagination and hello to our current politically unstable, social media-populated present.
But it doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom for the new 20s. Of course we’re looking at the past through rose and Fitzgerald-tinted glasses, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take that experimental and optimistic look at the future into the new decade with us.
We’re all moving to Paris for our art
Okay, so it doesn’t have to be Paris specifically. You don’t even have to move actually! But in the 1920s, artists and thinkers alike found themselves flocking to Paris to be surrounded by other creatives. Writers F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemmingway, songwriter Cole Porter, dancers Josephine Baker and Isadora Duncan and photographer Man Ray all found themselves in the city to trade ideas and feed off of each other’s motivational energy.
Because of the internet we don’t have to move to meet other like-minded individuals, but the point is to take your art (whether it’s painting or coding) seriously enough to change your life for it. Take your passion seriously and find others that will motivate you to do your best at it, and if that means moving to Paris? Well that can’t be too bad.
Experiment with chaos
If Paris in the 1920s was where you went to get serious, Berlin was where you went to let loose. The home of the weird and the wonderful, the city was a chaotic mess of outspoken thinkers and artists, experimentalist filmmakers and dancers. While influential members of the Berlin world may not be as well known as those in the Paris scene, the enthusiastic chaos formed a maelstrom of creation that made some of the most influential movements of the century.
So why not get messy, and have some fun while you’re at it? Try some new things, read a book or article you’d never look twice at, expose yourself to some new ideas and new people. Let yourself have fun. It’s okay if it’s a little chaotic. Chaos doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Actually the best part about it, is that in the mess, no one can see you!
It seems like the second the clocks ticked over and the date changed to Jan. 1, 1920, the world decided to drop societal expectations. Or at least it does in our imagination. While that might not have happened, imagining a world where we can do whatever we like without judgement is just as appealing now, as it might have been then.
A bobbed haircut might not be as daring as it was a hundred years ago, but let’s live in a world where we can make that questionable call for bangs at the salon without worrying what someone else will say. Do whatever feels right for you (as long as it doesn’t hurt others!) and let others do whatever they’d like as well. As Cole Porter said “Anything goes!”