Jazz Age Fashion focuses on women's clothing of the period, although not exclusively, whilst the introductory text will examine the social, political and cultural influences of the period setting into context the fashion of the period. Characterised by exuberance and optimism, the jazz age was a symptom of the end of the Great War and and the birth of America as a new world power. It was a period of unprecedented social change for women who were, for the first time in history, given the vote on a par with men (1920 USA, 1928 Britain). The birth of Modernity in the 1920s established women's lives as 'active' and fashion reflected and celebrated these new social roles. A new 'boyish' silhouette, la garconne, became the look for women of the twenties with a gradual acceptance of trousers as fashionable dress. The passive sun bathing became the active swimming, and companies such as Jantzen recognised these changes creating the'speed suit' for women. The 1920s saw technology and innovative textiles, with the introduction of the artificial silk Rayon and the zip, contributing to an easier approach to fashionable dress.Some of the greatest couturiers were working in Britain and France in this period - Chanel, Patou, Lucile, Lanvin, Vionnet, Hartnell, Molynuex.In America Hollywood stars such as Clara Bow and Louise Brooks brought the New Woman to millions of women across the world and Hollywood became a major influence on all fashion, from department stores to couturiers, disseminating these new looks to previously untapped markets.