Tales of Te Papa resource masthead


Beaded Beauties

Episode:53Te Papa Collection:History

Suggested curriculum levels:4 – 8

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, The Arts: Understanding the Arts in Context, Social Sciences: Continuity and Change

Description:The flappers were the original 'It girls'. Find out what these trend-setting women wore out on the town in the 1920s.

Questions for students

  1. The word 'flapper' was coined in the 1920s. Where did it come from and what does it describe?
  2. The period after World War I saw great social change in Europe, the United States and other Western countries, including New Zealand. Research the changes that impacted on women's behaviour and fashions. Use the 'Then and now' response template to record these changes. Alternatively, use the same template to compare the flappers of the 1920s with young women of today.
  3. Why do you think women, rather than men, were the ones who responded so strongly to the changed times after the war?
  4. Explain the use of colour in fashion in the 1920s. Why did orange become a fashionable colour to use? What changes in the world influenced this?
  5. How did the stock market crash and Great Depression affect fashions? Do you see any similar reaction through fashion to the current economic climate? Do you think the arts, as shown through fashion, are influenced by changes in the wider world? Explain this, using examples.

Related templates:

Then and now