Ah, Les Arts Décoratifs, is there a more timeless style than that? Art Deco is such a stunning style with an incredibly interesting history. Born in the early 1900’s, it gained popularity in design, architecture and lifestyle in the roaring 20’s leaving it’s mark across fashion, art and notable buildings throughout the world. Most recently we saw resurgence in the popularity of Art Deco and that certain je ne sais quoi of the 1920’s in the way of speakeasies, flapper-inspired outfits and Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby.
In the spirit of the upcoming new year and kicking it off in style, we’re finding inspiration in Art Deco through the eyes of our friends over at Blue Gardenia Events. Join us as we travel back to the roaring twenties in preparation of 2017!
The play between craftsmanship and ornamentation was at the forefront of Art Deco design. Based on primarily geometric motifs, the designs were based on simple designs ornamented with rounded curves and sunburst patterns. You can see a beautiful interplay in New York City’s Chrysler Building, built in 1928 by architect William Van Alen.
To go along with that, there was a strong emphasis on using high quality materials. You’ll find pieces crafted in silver, jewelry with inlaid jade, and designs embellished with ivory. Our favorite place to look for some of these materials is in jewelry from the era. From strands of pearls to long-pendant earrings, the look was one of exuberance. Diamonds, vibrant gemstones and colorful natural stones in emerald and Asscher cuts were set in silver and white-gold to match the angular and futuristic feel of the period.
With the change in times came a change in fashion, especially for women. Ladies, it was the time to free yourself from the corset and rock a relaxed frock with basically no waistline. While they were at it, they freed those ankles too with hemlines coming up to mid-calf and soon after, above the knee (scandalous!). In addition to altering silhouettes, designers like Coco Chanel were revamping fashion with new styles of tailoring, draping and embellishing with beads and feathers for the first time!
For men, “dapper” was the look. Well tailored and topped with a hat was the style! Most of the time men were to be seen in suits, generally a white button-down shirt with suspenders (or rather braces, the button- kind), a vest and pleated pants, sometimes cuffed, which were worn in a much fuller cut than they are today.
Tie the look together with some nicely polished brogues or two-toned saddle shoes. What a handsome fella! Even with prohibition taking place, cocktails were rampant. With the ban on alcohol, speakeasies started popping up as a meeting place where drinks were free flowing. Adding entertainment in the form of music or live performances made speakeasies the place to be!
What we really love most about Art Deco and the culture that surrounded it, beyond the pretty, shiny things, was the attitude. The bon vivants of the time imbued their laissez-faire attitudes and love of life in every moment. It was a time of opulence and exuberance, from architecture to lifestyle, and that sentiment still rings true today.
So, raise a glass to Art Deco, a lavish time of indulgence that still makes for a damn good party. Cheers!
Photographer Arte de Vie Photography | Design & Planning Blue Gardenia Events | Floral Design Bee’s Wedding and Event Design | Linens Nuage Designs | Stationery Jenn and Jules Designs | Calligraphy VCalligraphy | Cake/Pastries Melissa’s Fine Pastries | Hair My Haute Dame | Makeup Midori Makeup Artistry | Fashion Accessories Love It! | Videography One Louder Production | Rental Equipment Event Rental | Lighting Firefly Ambiance | Vintage Deco Furniture Prête a fete | Tuxedo’s John’s Tuxedo’s