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An investigation into the influence of the avant-garde, bohemia and modernism on women’s fashion and lifestyle, 1919 – 1929, with particular reference to Eve magazine

Chappell, Georgina (2018) An investigation into the influence of the avant-garde, bohemia and modernism on women’s fashion and lifestyle, 1919 – 1929, with particular reference to Eve magazine. Masters thesis (MA), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

This study identifies the influence of the avant-garde, modernism and Bohemia on women’s lifestyle and fashion in the decade immediately following the First World War. Existing research concentrates on the influence individual art movements had, seen in styles, or changes seen in the commercial world. This research shows that influence was more wide-ranging than individual manifestations in style and, taken as a whole, was instrumental in the widespread uptake of what many felt to be shocking new fashions. This research discusses three main strands of importance. These were the merging of Bohemia and the avant-garde in the public’s mind, the influence of what is now called lifestyle modernism and the part played by Eve magazine. Eve helped to make the avant-garde seem approachable. It also managed to normalise such styles as cross-gender dressing whilst ensuring that they were still recognised as potentially shocking. The study features Eve’s introduction of an avant-garde construct, the first of the type, in the character of Eve. Several scholars talk extensively about these avant-garde constructs, but the persona of Eve is never considered in research on fictional role-models of the time. Throughout, the importance of a new attitude to life is highlighted. The research has concentrated on Eve magazine, as an under-researched and under-appreciated source from the period. It has established its importance at the time. It has also identified its nuanced avant-garde content as contributing to more widespread acceptance of the avant-garde. It has opened up the field of research by identifying a more wide-ranging influence on everyday life by the avant-garde than has been so far recognised, as well as the importance of Eve. An investigation into the influence of the avant-garde, Bohemia and modernism on women’s lifestyle and fashion, 1919 – 1929, with particular reference to Eve magazine.

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