Thursday, May 09, 2013

Art Deco Style

1920s Speakeasy Necklace

Ever since I became aware of style and design, I’ve loved the Art Deco esthetic.  Through your letters and emails, I know that my interest is a shared one. There are several reasons for this.
First, many of us were nurtured by a woman of the 1920s—our mothers, aunts and grandmothers. Their personalities were shaped by that particularly restless, defiant and ultimately liberating time for women. With empowerment of the right to vote and employment, women insisted on liberating fashion changes also. The confines of the corset were abandoned for loose-fitting, shorter dresses. Women bobbed their long hair, painted their lips and shopped using credit terms. The spirit that was kindled in the Roaring ‘20s enabled them to persevere through the Depression and WWII. They instilled in us their tenacity, self-reliance, creativity and thrift.
The other reason we like deco design is because our lives have been filled with its influence. Architecture, neon signs, chrome toasters and mother’s rose gold watch have the geometric lines born of the Machine Age.
Apparel and jewelry fashion joined in sync with the new design philosophy of angles and curves heralded at the Paris International Exposition des Arts Decoratifs in 1925.  Fashion jewelry making accelerated. There was high demand for crystal bracelets to clasp bare arms, bead necklaces to drape the new “flat” silhouette and earrings to seductively swing beneath the brim of a cloche hat. The Machine Age obliged with automated chain linking devices and mass produced rhinestones. The elongated rectangular ‘baguette’ cut was developed. Pave’ set diamonds and rhinestones ruled the day.
There were different flavors within the Deco style. Exotic influences were seen in oriental motifs, molded glass, enameling and rhinestone encrusted filigrees and celluloid. Jewelry, purses and dresser top items looked like opulent luxuries. Then there was the streamline, geometric form seen in motifs such as arrows, shooting stars, designs which conveyed movement. Old themes such as fruit and flowers were expressed in geometric forms. Tut’s tomb was discovered in 1922, a revelation of artifacts which captivated the world. Molded glass ornaments of Egyptian themes were produced for use in jewelry.
 It is my hope that you find great pleasure in my designs of the Deco era. 

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