Moonlight at the Ranch: Chapeau, makeup was Flappers’ signature!

September 10, 2010
Santa Paula News

No sooner did women get the vote than a new, brash breed of women emerged with bobbed hair set with finger waves who wore Art Deco jewelry and fringe-edged clothing, drank, drove automobiles and jazz-danced their way into legend: flappers, that quintessential symbol of the Roaring 20s who for a decade lived life like there was no tomorrow.

And just as the flapper symbolized the 20s, nothing symbolized the flapper more than their trademark hats and sultry makeup.

You’ll want to “23-Skidoo!” to when the Jazz Age reigned for a rat-a-tat- time partying with flappers, flyboys, dames, gangsters, Lindbergh and Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie at Moonlight at the Ranch IV: “The Roaring 20’s!” on September 18.

The Honorary Chairman of the Moonlight celebration is acclaimed actor and Academy Award-winning director Kevin Costner, famed “G-Man” Eliot Ness in the “The Untouchables.” Due to his busy schedule, Costner’s presence has not yet been confirmed.

Flappers’ distinctive look created a craze for fashion as well as a behavior. Their “toppers” ranged from headbands decorated with feathers and/or jewels to cloches that could be dressy or casual. The Roaring 20s was definitely the decade of chapeaus, and the genuine article - hats manufactured during the Jazz Age - are highly collectible.

Chicago-based hat designer Sonia Caceres, owner of Graceful Butterfly, specializes in hats that any flapper would have died for - that is if she couldn’t get her “Sugar Daddy” to buy one as a little present. “I adore the hat designs of the 1920’s era,” said Sonia, who owned a popular Chicago vintage boutique before she realized she enjoyed the artistic creation of displays more than sales, and launched her online Graceful Butterfly specializing in nouveau vintage hat design.

“I feel so connected to the 1920s, as if I had lived during that time. The fashion of that era speaks to me like no other. It feels so familiar, as if I was a part of the making of its history. I’ve been in a relationship with that time period since I was a child.

“Although there are other decades that exude the loveliness of a beautiful chapeau, of course my personal favorite is that of the 1920’s flapper girl.” Sonia said she is naturally “drawn to the fashion of the Roaring 20s, because it was the unveiling of the modern woman, free-spirited gals that expressed their femininity without being bound by the corseted fashions and oppressive beliefs of days gone by - the pinnacle stage of the metamorphosis of women.

“The styles of that time period had such flair in their embellishments and the cloche shape of hats sweetly framed the face of a woman” and, Sonia admits, “the detail work displayed on the hats just takes my breath away... the art of true beauty in all of its wonderment!” And Sonia’s inspiration, “drawn from the core of this splendorous time. Even as a child I was drawn to it... reaffirming to me that I might’ve been a flapper girl in another life. “That vintage thought,” Sonia added with a laugh, “truly lifts my spirited wings into graceful flight!”

There is no doubt hats help make the ultimate flapper statement, and the perfect accessory is kissable bee-stung - also known as Cupid’s bow - lips.

Glory Fielding is a master makeup artist who applies her talents at Tisa’s Salon on East Main Street as well as other locations. Her Cupid’s Bow Make Up Artistry specializes in vintage looks, although Glory’s looks can range from Gothic to Sweet Sixteen.

Glory, a professional makeup artist for six years, said she was initially attracted to the “makeup medium because I was fascinated by the transformative quality of it. “A great face of makeup can not only change a person’s look, but their disposition and personality as well!”

And Moonlight Flappers take heed: “A 1920’s face to me,” noted Glory, “is all about the brows and lips. The exaggerated downward shape of the brows and pursed bee-stung lip convey an innocent and almost sorrowful feel.”

Glory said the contrast is notable: “It’s interesting that such was the look of the time, because for women, the 1920s were all about liberation. Women were bobbing their hair and throwing out their corsets. I find it intriguing that the two aesthetics existed simultaneously.”

For more information on Sonia’s creations at a Graceful Butterfly, visit or email her at Hurry! Sonia has Flapper headbands almost ready to go!

Glory can be reached at 805-727-0772, or at Her website is

Moonlight at the Ranch, Ventura County’s signature event, will again benefit the Santa Paula Police & Fire Foundation and Chamber of Commerce. You’ll experience all the glamour and excitement of “The Roaring 20’s!” on September 18 from 5:30 to 11 p.m. at historic Limoneira Ranch.

“The password is ... ‘Joe sent me!’” And tickets are only $60 each. There will be dozens of fine restaurants offering generous tastings, fine wineries from across the region, and no-host bars serving all that was banned during Prohibition.

Moonlight will feature music to dance your “gams” off by the renowned Men on the Moon band, and there will be fascinating displays evoking the decade that defined America. This celebration will knock your galoshes off in a venue that highlights “The Jazz Age” when Prohibition prompted secret nightclubs with bathtub gin and where everyone broke the law; and everybody was invited, including gangster kingpin Al Capone.

Babe Ruth (“The Sultan of Swat”) knocked them out of Yankee Stadium, and Howard Carter uncovered King Tut’s tomb. The Warner Brothers brought sound to film and a golden statue named Oscar was born.

There was gregarious jazz baby Texas Guinan, the death of “The Sheik” sultry Rudolph Valentino, Clara Bow’s bee-stung lips and John Barrymore’s swoon inducing profile. Everybody wanted to have “It” and marathon dancing, flagpole sitting, Mah-Jongg and clip joints abounded.

Wear Roaring 20’s attire or dress as any of the decade’s never ending lineup of the famous and infamous. Come as yourself - ladies, remember those Cupid’s bow lips! - a present day time-traveler taking part in the most fascinating decade in history.

For more information, visit or just “23 Skidoo!” and charge MC/VISA by phone, (805) 525-1890, M-F, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

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