Saturday, January 15, 2011

Golden 1920's style in 'Rosario'

The 1920's. It’s been known as the age of liberation, when women started to vote, join the workforce and become independent. Social customs and morals were more relaxed and as such fashion followed suit. Gone were the stovepipe silhouettes, constricting corsets and black wool stockings that were popularized during the Edwardian and Victorian periods.

Since it was officially the end of the war, there was an air of optimism in the 1920s. People wanted to have fun, spend money and dance the Charleston. The 1920s brought us Coco Chanel (two-tone shoes, LBDs, jersey knit dresses), Jean Lanvin (intricate trimmings, embroideries, beaded decorations in clear, light, floral colors), Jean Patou (introduced sportswear and knitwear for women) and Paul Poiret (eradicated corsets, introduced the kimono coat, harem pantaloons and lampshade tunics).

Perhaps to achieve a more fitting understanding of the fashion during that era, one can refer to the movie “Rosario” which was the first full-length film directed by veteran actor Albert Martinez. It is also the first movie venture produced by TV5 and Cinemabuhay. Cinemabuhay is the brainchild of the PLDT-Smart foundation, a philanthropic institution that aims to “help indie filmmakers crossover to mainstream moviemaking” (source). “Rosario” is also the institution’s official entry to the 36th Metro Manila Film Festival.

The castle Bob is simple blunt cut, which was level at the bottom of the ears all around the head, and was popularized by dancer Irene Castle. As this hairstyle’s popularity grew, hairdressers later on experimented with bobbed hair in waved or shingled styles. Another popular hairstyle is the Eton Crop, which is described as a short, slicked-down cropped hairstyle for women reminiscent of the popular hairstyles of schoolboys at Eton.

These rebellious and extreme changes in women’s hairstyles signified the beginning of a major change in societal norms and values. In addition, these shorter haircuts enabled wearers to conform to such closer fitting headwear such as the cloche hats, as the shaped hair conformed to the skull’s contour. The shorter hair also allowed wearers to vehemently declare themselves as “new women”.

In the early twenties, cream or ivory face powder was the norm; while rose, raspberry, deep red, plum and orange were the rouges of choice. Lipstick was applied as a “Cupid’s Bow”, and the eyes were heavily emphasized with black mascara and black eyeliner with dark grey, turquoise, and green eyeshadows. Thin, black and downward sloping eyebrows were also popular during that time. Blush was widely used by the flappers as they began to be conveniently encased in compacts.


  1. I went to the photo gallery of Rosario and checked their photos. I saw one with a rather modern yellow car as backdrop, though they tried to blur it, it's still darn obvious! Laugh trip talaga!

  2. Hi Lynx! I regret not watching all the MMFF films this year :( I happen to like the idea behind "Rosario" though period films are generally harder to create because they can never be 100% authentic (even the movie "Robin Hood" had seemingly WWII-looking boats that were not appropriate for that time).

    Budget-permitting, I think the team behind "Rosario" did a pretty good job even with the hits and misses with fashion and location, I hope we continue to create more films like this :)