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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Elizabeth Street

RAZZLE DAZZLE 'EM

Razzle Dazzle 'Em

Sparkles, fringe, and a touch of fantasy will have you feeling like Cinderella. Hold tight to your fabulous shoes as you dance the night away

Cinderella, the story of the girl who experiences a night of fantasy that eventually leads her to happily ever after, has been adopted by many cultures. Though the settings and characters may vary, the overall instance of having that one moment with the perfect dress, the perfect slippers, and the man of your dreams is the prevalent theme. 

Such is the case with Shirley Hughes’ Ella’s Big Chance, a Jazz Age adaptation of the beloved fairy tale about the girl with the glass slipper. Set in the 1920s, Ella Cinders (note the play on her name) works as a seamstress in her father’s dress shop. While slaving away making dresses and being tormented by her stepsisters, Ella dreams of being a part of the razzle dazzle that defined her era. And of course, she gets exactly what she hoped for. 

This beautifully illustrated book reminds us of how exuberant and inspiring the Jazz Age was. So inspiring was the glitz and glamour of the 1920s that it seems to have had a resurgence in women’s fashion. The days of speakeasies, cabarets, and flappers in Bob Fosse musicals and Archibald Motley paintings have crept back into many stores. And with the period of fringe, sequins, and art deco on the racks and shelves, you too can have the fantasy that Ella experiences. Being a mom does not mean that you have to forgo a night of fun. Let these garments inspire you to call a babysitter, sling on some heels, and live a night that is all that jazz. Just make sure to be back by midnight.—Barry Samaha