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When the rebellious spirit of the women of the Roaring Twenties worked for their emancipation


Mistinguett, Suzy Solidor and Madeleine Perrier... The Women of the Roaring Twenties album pays tribute to the strong female figures who emerged in the 1920s.

Effervescent, daring, exhilarating, free... Euphoric adjectives describe the Roaring Twenties.

A festive decade where creativity and freedom were celebrated in the smoky brasseries of Montparnasse.

An enchanted parenthesis, in the aftermath of the war, whose charm still operates after more than a century.

A happy and prosperous time for the emancipation of women.


Women of the Roaring Twenties,

a richly illustrated work, Norman Barreau-Gély, passionate about the history of the music hall and curator of the Club R-26 archives, offers a fascinating dive into this blessed era for those who knew how to impose themselves. and free themselves from their shackles by their rebellious spirit.

Painters, dancers, singers, sportswomen and scientists knew how to capture prodigiously the extravagant modernity offered by the Roaring Twenties.

The fight of women began in this bubble of air that are the 1920s,

underlines the author


Even if everything was far from perfect, especially on the right to vote, they reveal great female figures full of freedom and audacity.

They cut their hair, free themselves from restrictive outfits, drive cars, work, sway their hips to the new rhythms coming from the United States.

To pay tribute to this exceptional decade, it seemed obvious to me to go through the prism of these passionate personalities.

While today, the point of view of women is on the front of the stage and claimed, this approach allowed me to also bring a contemporary prism.


Great friendships, art fairs, parties, scandals, intoxication of the senses... Avoiding a succession of portraits, Norman Barreau-Gély nicely recounts a fascinating era through which women's gaze passes.

For a captivating work from the first to the last page and whose author presents the flavor to us, via three exquisite portraits.

Mistinguett, the queen of the music hall

Mistinguett, here during a rehearsal at the Moulin-Rouge with Earl Leslie, with her outspokenness and her charisma, will play the lead singer of the Roaring Twenties.

Collection David Sylvestre DR / Editions E/P/A



is the queen of the music hall of those years, an absolutely essential personality.

She represented Paris in the eyes of the whole world and every French woman in the eyes of Paris.

She embodied both the cheekiness of the worker and the elegance of the bourgeois.

Neither an exceptional singer nor dancer, she had a charisma defying all analysis.

Through her entrepreneurial spirit, she took over the artistic direction of the Moulin Rouge Music Hall in 1926. Her shows were absolutely sumptuous.

It has become a small business on its own.

Everything was built on his name alone.

She was able to benefit from the technological advances of the time, recording discs distributed throughout France.

She appears in the cinema, poses for photographers, makes the headlines in the newspapers.

All his movements are publicized.


Read alsoMistinguett by Cocteau: "A lofty, learned, modest, incomparable soul"

Suzy Solidor, the most represented in the world

Promotional photo of Suzy Solidor, then nicknamed "The star of the cabaret", in 1934. Promotional photo

Suzy Solidor symbolizes the icon of the Roaring Twenties.

She arrived in Paris in the early 1920s surrounded by the mystery of being an illegitimate descendant of the famous Saint-Malo corsair Surcouf.

She herself comes from Saint-Malo, borrowing her stage name from her famous Solidor tower.

She is a very beautiful woman with a sculptural body and silk hair in a golden helmet.

She wants to be a model and harbors the hope of meeting Jeanne Lanvin.

But on her way, she will meet the socialite Yvonne de Brémont d'Ars, antique dealer who becomes her lover and pygmalion.

The latter will expose it to the gaze of photographers and painters, shape it so that it is desired by all.

More than 220 painters will paint his portrait, from Jean-Gabriel Domergue in 1923 to Francis Bacon in the early sixties,

Marie Laurencin


Francis Picabia


She is the most portrayed woman in the world.

In the 1930s, she ended her relationship with her mentor and opened her cabaret.

His repertoire includes sea shanties, evocations of his native Brittany, usually sung by men.

She sings openly lesbian poems, or very modern poets for the time, like

Jean Cocteau


By her freedom, her audacity, her clothes, her sulphurous attitude with the scent of scandal, she embodies the symbol of the Roaring Twenties.


Madeleine Perrier, for the love of art

Madeleine Perrier, dressed by Balenciaga is photographed at 26, rue Norvins in Montmartre in the apartment where the R-26 club sat.

Perrier family archives DR / Editions E/P/A

Madeleine Perrier belongs to those figures neglected by history.

With her husband, she was at the head of the R-26 club, an artistic salon, in Montmartre, which allowed women in particular to enter into contact with personalities essential to their emancipation.

The couple worked in fashion, an activity favorable to the development of a network of influence.

Each social salon at the time had its specificity.

And in Montmartre, the R-26 was intended as a meeting place for friends including Suzy Solidor, Sonia Delaunay, the architect

Le Corbusier 

or the guitarist

Django Reinhardt


Madeleine Perrier made it a point of honor to open her lair to the unknown, to the vagaries of surprising encounters bringing together personalities from all the arts.

A haven of creativity, the couple organized many cultural events there.

But above all, to be a citizen of the Perriers, one had to adopt a rigorous charter: love the mound, sauerkraut, marc de Bourgogne, music, poetry, simplicity, love, good wine and beauty. friendship.


“Women of the Roaring Twenties,

Norman Barreau-Gély, EPA, 256 pages, 39.95 euros.

Women of the Roaring Twenties

recounts the effervescence of the 1920s through the prism of great female figures.


Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-12-25

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