Historically speaking, the '20s and '30s are thought of as an era preceding a war-torn, soon-to-be forever changed Europe. But in pre-war Berlin, in a time now dubbed the Weimar era, subcultures that challenged expressed themselves through fashion — often even playing with gender identity — and flourished.
Then, it was all about elegance, a richness of presence. For Brooklyn-based photographer Rose Callahan, the era speaks to her on a soul level, and she and her partner have dedicated their lives to living a '30s dream.
"I'm inspired by 1930s Berlin. It's romantic and mysterious," Callahan says. "I feel like my whole life is about showing how wonderful elegance can be. Style dictates most of my life. Ever since I was young, I've loved vintage clothing, and my photography is all about investigating how people express themselves through style, and how they create their identity."
She says she's inspired by '30s vamps, Louise Brooks, Cabaret, and Marlene Dietrich.
"She had ultimate glamour, but then she also did the suits, too," Callahan says of Dietrich. "I love that [play on] masculine-feminine."
When Callahan met her partner, Kelly, their individual interest in vintage dressing and '30s elegance joined forces, and together, they make a very impressive pair.
"I don't think there is anyone on this planet who is more in sync with what I think is beautiful than Kelly," Callahan says.
Together, they produced two books about the Dandy, which is a word used to describe a culture of men who take a very particular pride in their fashion choices and appearance. Just like all of Callahan's work, it's all about celebrating the aesthetic of elegance. See more about her photos, her lifestyle, and her incredible vintage wardrobe in the video above, part of Bustle's Suiting Up Series.
Executive Creative Director: Lauren Sofair
Executive Producer: Whitney Buxton
Supervising Producer: Irina Dvalidze
Director of Photography: Marshall Stief
Camera Operator: Jasmine Velez
Design Director: Andenew Ayele
Motion Designer: Jeff Donlan
Video Assistant: Sasha Mahmood
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