The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, in partnership with UNLV’s Public History Program, will launch “Ready to Roar,” a temporary exhibition of Prohibition-Era fashion and culture, on Friday, November 4.
Curated to illustrate the indelible impact the Prohibition Era had on not only women’s fashions, but also their social, political and economic freedoms, the exhibition will be on view until February 2017. Included among the items to be displayed will be an array of authentic dresses and accessories from the 1920s and early 1930s that demonstrate the different styles that evolved during the era.
“Ready to Roar” is made possible by a grant from Nevada Humanities and with support from the Clark County Museum, Nevada State Museum, Nevada State Parks and the National Park Service.
During Prohibition, the emergence of speakeasies gave rise to “flappers,” young women who redefined social expectations through fashion. These women distanced themselves from buttoned-up Victorian social norms and embraced progressive views on fashion, sexuality and so-called vices.
Meanwhile, technological and chemical innovations increased women’s buying power. Synthetic dyes brought about the use of vivid colors and the development of manmade fibers allowed more clothing to be available to more Americans than ever before in human history. Simultaneously, the rise of the automobile and airplane created a transportation revolution, and women on the go needed accessories such as powder compacts and purses.
“Thanks to our partners at UNLV and other wonderful organizations within the local cultural community, we are able to present this exciting and innovative exhibition,” said Jonathan Ullman, executive director and chief executive officer, The Mob Museum. “We are grateful for such terrific collaboration, and look forward to ongoing ventures that will bring enriching content to the public.”