Keeping Up With The Castles

Vernon and Irene Castle were basically the real life version of the on-screen couple of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (who did play them in a dramatic biopic). They were a husband and wife team of ballroom dancers who are largely credited with bringing popularity to modern dancing. In 1911 the couple became hugely popular in Paris and introduced American ragtime to France. They were groundbreaking in a number of ways: they traveled with a black orchestra and were animal rights advocates, and Irene was a fashion innovator. She was considered "the best dressed woman in America" and bobbed her hair around 10 years before that look became popular.
All of this to say: adding to my inspiration from Ruth St. Denis, is Irene Castle with her gorgeous costumes and elegance.

Pictures from NYPL


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