Who were the bright young things?

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Who were the bright young things?


History lesson



© Getty Images
Bright young things


In the air is the sweet smell of opium, thick smoke, heavy perfume. The trumpet of the Original Dixieland Jass band from the gramophone, and Cecil Beaton toasts Evelyn Waugh from a musty velvet chaise longue with a crystal champagne dish: London, in the 1920s. The war was over, the party mood was high and the city’s It crew was “cosmopolitan, fond of art, well-educated and,” as Waugh described it, “sometimes bizarrely theatrical.”

The author was one of the so-called Bright Young Things, a group of young aristocrats and bohemians who were primarily concerned with one thing: good stuff. As for the decadent clothing, the drugs and also the wild stories. Exactly 100 years later, the ‘bright young things’ are suddenly everywhere. Of the Next-in-fashionFinalist Daniel Fletcher dedicated his graduation fashion show to them on Netflix, our American colleagues interviewed in their Podcast Luke Edward Hall was on the subject and the National Portrait Gallery was planning – in front of Corona – a whole exhibition for this spring.



Bright young things


© Getty Images
Bright young things



Bright young things


© Getty Images
Bright young things


The Bright Young Things were too young to have fought in World War I and grew up – as children of rich parents – in a society that was characterized by renunciation. So they just wanted a bit of a child like a non-grown up, snotty spoon: fun. Catching up on what they have so far been denied, dressing up, playing, being androgynous, sexual, snobby and absurd. In short, what you wanted to be. And if you didn’t have an eccentric character, you simply bought one.

The press, of course, loved the show, and the paparazzi watched it Things through subways and streets. The actress Brenda Dean Paul chose her as a “society drug addict” because: when she was not in prison or in detention, her “years of brandy cocktails and salted nuts” were enough to survive. However, Beaton, who was one of them, was responsible for the public image of the group. The photographer (who later became known for his pictures of the royal family and the costume design too ‘My fair lady’ was to become immortal) sometimes shot almost surrealistic pictures, which were never about boring reality. “I don’t want people to see who I really am,” says Beaton. Rather: who I try to be and who I pretend to be. ”That also included a certain nostalgia, a longing for old grandeur, which did not mean a strict departure from modernity. As long as modernity was only glamorous enough: the clique liked to adorn itself with Hollywood stars, Cecil Beaton and Greta Garbo had a relationship of passion, jealousy, drama and great love for years.



Bright young things


© Getty Images
Bright young things



Bright young things


© Getty Images
Bright young things


The joy of staging, the joy of celebrating the flamboyant form can be seen as strong in the English design scene as it has not been for 100 years. Because the Bright Young Things of the 2020s are here: Young designers who don’t make historical shapes look oll but bold. Combine the loud colors with wild patterns – and bring with it exactly that wonderfully unreasonable bit of ‘upper class’.

Luke Edward Hall

Optical Harry Potter, creative between Jean Cocteau, Playdoo and Palladio. Hall writes books, paints, straightens the hotel in Paris “Les Deux Gares” and gives interior design tips in the Guardian.

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Beata Heuman

Antiquity also plays a role at Heuman, the designer designs playful furniture with a historical twist, designs rooms in pattern and color-intensive tableaus – and never loses sight of the applicability: Nobody is currently creating more elegant solutions for niches and small rooms.

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Ben Pentreath

..is the most classic of the three. Pentreath lives in Dorset with his friend Charlie McCormack (an ambitious dahlia breeder), two Corgis and a Labrador. In London, he runs a splendid little one with Bridie Hall Shop.

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