The New Roaring Twenties

by Dale Peers

Here we come! The first 12 months of this new decade have certainly been tumultuous.  And, I wonder whether that means we are at just the beginning of another Roaring Twenties.

The pandemic has been an event of global proportions not unlike the first World War.  The “war to end all wars” involved multiple nations of the world, banding together in a fight that at times felt impossible but in which the human race ultimately prevailed.  The pandemic is mirroring that trajectory and we hope the brilliant medical minds of today will soon find a way for us to return to a more regular life.


The economy was seeing unprecedented positivity after the war.  And, as of this writing we are continuing to see stock market gains which exceed explanation in this time of political uncertainty in the United States.  Will there be a crash?  Hopefully the concerted efforts that many countries like ours made during the pandemic as well as lessons learned from the great Depression of the 1930s will prove to bolster economies to the point that we may avoid such dire financial circumstances. (

Restaurants and bars are certainly feeling the hardship of this time.  While their liquor sales are being restricted, we are at least not dealing with a Prohibition which was once the norm in our neighbours to the south.  The pandemic has curtailed celebrations in a way that might be deemed prohibition-like but imagine the scope of future celebrations when we can again gather in numbers greater than our “safe six” or “bubble of 10.”  (Image:

The 1920s was also a decade in which societal changes in terms of women made great strides.  What we are now looking for in this ‘20s decade is positive societal changes for people of colour, our Indigenous peoples, and all members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Fashions for the “flappers” of the 1920s reflected their new won freedoms with shorter hem-lengths allowing for those great strides both physical and metaphorical.  Hair was “bobbed,” makeup was worn and the Clara Bow lip, in deepest red, transformed not only women but the Cosmetics industry.

The necessity of masks has seemingly overnight transformed this protective gear into a new fashion accessory and statement.  And, while the lipstick product category is taking a hit, the eyes (and ayes to wearing a mask!) have it.  Eyeshadow, liner, mascara, not to mention primers and eye creams are now the focus for many. (Image:

Masks are being produced in record number and are as simple or elaborate as the maker likes.  They haven’t escaped the fashion runway either.   Does this pearl encrusted mask by Christian Siriano remind anyone else of 1920’s fashion icon Coco Chanel? (


While the closing of borders might feel xenophobic the flip side of that coin is the focus on Canadian made.  We can foster greater success for our Canadian designers and manufacturers of fashion (and all consumer goods) by choosing to buy Canadian and to support our local makers and retailers. is an example of just one organization which virtually highlights Canadian designer fashion goods.

At Seneca you can support the Fashion Business and Fashion Business Management students by shopping on their new e-commerce site for The Boutique.  These fashion students are utilizing their skills in the new retail landscape they will soon be entering.  Go to: for the Pop-up store recently launched.

While current days are uncertain we must look forward to a new future.  May this be the beginning of a new Roaring ‘20s for Canadians and the Canadian Fashion industry.



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