Who were the Bright Young People?
The most happening crowd of London’s Jazz Age in the 1920s – the crowd that made stylish partying a way of life.
Sometimes we approach Bright Young Peopledom here in New York. The College Group at the Met threw a Gatsby party of such multifoliate glory recently that all who entered the Egyptian atrium gasped, “OMG!”
It was titled West Egg on the East Side. Candles lined the fountain, radiating light bespangled the walls, the ruins glowed amber and magenta. A golden gleam spilled off the back of the grand piano and shimmered on the water.
The mummies were silent, the band played loud!
And people dressed. This was the first event of late that made me think, “You know, the kids are alright.”
Dapper young men… Can anything beat that?
And in the draperies of the women, there is a longing.
We don’t want mass production, we want ye olde ornate, handmade and unique: everyone was wearing their hot grandma’s clothes.
Is this some kind of post-bourgeois thing, this longing of ours?
“I breathe in and I create.”
The Zeitgeist of the 1920s was youth, I guess…
The transience of all things, the enjoyment of ephemeral splendour that is all the more beautiful for being subject to decay.
D.J. Taylor’s marvellous book Bright Young People chronicles the Jazz Age crowd that established this particular party ethic.
Brenda Dean Paul is quoted regarding the infamous all-night Bath and Bottle Party of 1928; her memory is of “turgid water and thousands of bobbing champagne corks, discarded bathing caps and petal-strewn tiles as the sun came out and filtered through the giant skylights of St. George’s Baths, and we wended our way home.”
Of course this Met party last week was rather too softcore to be classified as a true Young Bright People affair because NO ONE EVEN BATHED IN THE FOUNTAIN. Slackers.
The goal of a Bright Young Person is to be known, to be admired… To be glittering, to be beautiful!
Forget everything else!
Young people in mature dress = class. I’m going to aim for class in the everyday wardrobe.
You can’t go wrong. It takes you to a higher plane.
Harmony in contrast.
I’m all for matching pairs and group outfits.
Or as here, a higher form of pairing dress – where another person amplifies your outfit through contrast, thereby making you both appealingly eclectic.
There is something regal to her.
Boyz should still do the Grand Tour.
They need ze Kultur.
I have seen her again and can verify that this lady always looks sharp.
Whoever you are, young gentleman, get in touch because I think I luff you.
Apparently they did not plan this Matching.
Matching is a high and noble enterprise, for it encourages Bonding.
And Unintended Matching is the highest of Matchings, for it betokens a ~~Subconscious Bond.~~
Here endeth Part I. Since we all need more guidance in becoming Bright Young People, further Parts will follow. More Met pictures to come!