paris 1920

concept playlists: eras

it’s 1893 and you’re laying in a field of violets with your lover. it’s almost night, and almost winter, so you know nothing will last, but for now, you’re going to just stay there. you think this is what the romantic poets were talking about when they wrote about love. there’s something enchantingly terrifying about the extravagant and corrupt society that is bound to destroy you soon enough.

a bright disillusioned summer’s just begun in new york in 1924, and you’re going to spend it getting involved in drama that you have no business in. you can’t really stand the people you’re around, but they throw great parties. might as well spend your days acting like you’ve seen it all already.

you’re in paris and it’s 1957. the strange books you read don’t make sense–but that’s on purpose, probably. you’re excited for something, and you’re not sure what, but you can’t help but be happy. you’re falling in love with every girl on your train, and everything seems beautiful, bright, and exciting.

George Barbier, Le Feu (The Fire), lithograph from Falbalas et Fanfreluches, Almanach des Modes Presentes, Passees et Futures, 1925.

Josephine Baker was a famous African American dancer, singer, and actress born in 1906 St. Louis, Missouri. Sadly she was not appreciated in the US, so she went to Paris in the 1920s, where her amazing talent, charm, and charisma were such a smashing success that she became a movie star there. Oh, and she had a pet cheetah named Chiquita, who often escaped the stage to terrorize the musicians.

Even more badass - during WWII, she served as a spy to the French military intelligence, collecting info about German troop locations at all the fancy parties she went to. She pinned those notes, written in invisible ink on her sheet music, inside her underwear. How cool is that.

She also contributed to the Civil Rights movement, and refused to perform for segregated audiences during her tours in the US.

Pola Negri, The terrasse of the Café de la Paix in Paris, Hand-colored Photographs by Burton Holmes, 1927.

“I must urgently recommend that you spend your first leisure hour in Paris at the corner table of the terrasse of the Café de la Paix. It is a fact known and proved that … you have only to sit at this corner long enough, and a friend will appear in time.” - Burton Holmes, Travelogues.