The Concourse was filled with vendors from around the country selling incredible vintage furniture, art, accessories and clothing. The recorded music of San Francisco's Royal Society Jazz Orchestra added to the energy of the room.
The Boy remarked that both of us are nostalgic for an era we never lived in, and it's quite true. Everything from the 20s to the 40s: movies, fashion, books, architecture, cars (and for me especially, the makeup and hairstyles)--we can't get enough of it. It seems more natural for me to be attracted to the look of things from those years than the present time. I have always been that way. It's almost like remembering, sometimes wistfully.
And then I made a beeline for the vintage clothing sellers. The selection was so overwhelming that I didn't end up buying anything at all. I felt like I was in a museum, but better, because I could touch the velvets and silks, and try things on. I spent a great amount of time trying on hats. It was heaven.
It's amazing to see how some of these delicate dresses have survived over the years and are still truly beautiful. At 2pm, there was a fashion show, and it was tailor-made for me. The theme was the Evolution of Dance and Fashion. The presentation started with the late 1800s and the waltz. All of the gowns were authentic to each period being described and they were exquisite. The dresses, most of which had such imaginative designs and details and beautiful beading, were so flattering to the women's figures. They enhanced their femininity without being overly revealing.
The fashions became shorter and more free-flowing as the waltz evolved into the foxtrot, Charleston, etc., all the way up to the Mashed Potato, but my interest peaked at the tango, of course. I wished I could have been one of the models (she didn't know how to demonstrate the steps like I could have) but more likely it was that I wanted to wear one of the dresses.
The merging of dance and fashion and films swirled through my head that day, especially since I ended up at the Silent Film Festival that evening.
I wanted to share the following tango movie clip with you: Rudolph Valentino in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921). (You may have already seen it on Tango Love and Other Devil's great post about tango in the movies, but I think it's worth watching again.) I find this clip in particular so compelling. I like the energy and look of this short dance so much more than anything you could see on Dancing with the Stars and its ilk, that other brand of tango made for popular consumption.
As La Tanguera notes wisely, the style of dancing cannot be compared to the mastery of tango dancers then or now. I like watching this clip and viewing it as if I am seeing it for the first time, when the movie was released in 1921. According to wikipedia: The film was a commercial and critical success and made Valentino a star, earning him the nickname "Tango Legs." (And ladies, check out the spurs on his boots. In those days, it was the man who wore the dangerous stilettos, no?)