"Puttin' on the Ritz" During the Harlem Renaissance: A Virtual Conversation of Jazz Age Fashion with Camara Holloway and Elizabeth Way

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Harlem during the Jazz Age was renowned for the style of its denizens. The twenties were a time of radical transformation for clothing, and Harlem was at the cutting edge of new trends, influencing mainstream fashion and culture in unprecedented ways. This conversation will examine what people wore during the Harlem Renaissance and beyond, from flapper dresses to Zoot suits. The style of fashionable Harlemites has had a lasting influence on fashion and is still felt today.

For this program, the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles travels to New York City's Harlm of the 1920s and '30s, during the intellectual, social, and artistic explosion that erupted in the Black cultural mecca. While Harlem Renaissance figures such as Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, and Louis Armstrong are still well-known figures today, many of the enterprising women who used their expert sewing skills to launch successful fashion design businesses during this influential period will be rediscovered in this illustrated presentation with two cultural and fashion historians.

About the Presenters:

Camara Holloway is an art historian who earned her PhD from Yale University. She serves as the Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH) and has previously taught at the University of Southern California and the University of Delaware. She is the curator of Portraiture and the Harlem Renaissance: The Photographs of James L. Allen (1999).

Elizabeth Way is Assistant Curator of Costume at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She curated Global Fashion Capitals (2015), Black Fashion Designers (2016), Fabric in Fashion (2018), and the upcoming exhibition, Head to Toe (2020). Her personal research focuses on the intersection of African American culture and fashion.