By Darla McCammon
This series has covered famous artists whose work is considered to be traditional fine art. There are other art movements and disciplines that also deserve our notice.
Art Deco is one such movement. Art Deco became the prominent style for fashion, décor, painting, furniture, and posters during the 1920s and 1930s. This style was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement that was becoming the vogue in Europe. Paul Poiret was a self-taught designer who became successful in Paris fashion design and became a notable Art Deco success.
By 1901 Poiret became affiliated with the famous House of Worth, known for their line of top-rated design clothing. Some of the clients at worth felt Poiret’s designs were too extreme (see photo provided with three of his fancy dresses). Others, however; were enchanted and soon Poiret was able to open his own very successful showroom. His technique for sketching the design also caught on and was copied. Once his initial sketch was completed, Poiret would hold the fabric he planned to use, against a live model, then he would trace those lines that were formed and cut the fabric as it fell naturally on the model. This softened and draped the design and amazingly, eliminated the need for corsets and bustles along with formerly restricted clothing. This won the hearts of his customers (except for those who chose to purchase his famous “Hobble Skirt!”). But most other clients adored his loose and fluid harem pantaloons and the freedom of movement in his other creations. So, if you have ever wondered why we don’t dress in stiff bustles and awkward clothing, you can thank Paul Poiret.
Poiret published several presentations of his designs. These were illustrated, not by Poiret, though he was capable, but by artist George Lepape, a young artist from France who had studied under the same instructor as such notables as Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse and Henri Toulouse-Latrec. Between Lepape and Poiret, a creative new approach to art and its’ usefulness in the non-traditional genre began to spread and influence many areas of art and design. This included fashion and much more. Thus, Art Deco was launched on the world as paintings, along with textiles that were utilized both for fashion clothing or patterns applied to furnishings were making an appearance and having an effect on overall design. Clever posters using the style now tied to Art Deco were produced and sold in huge quantities. Cubist paintings such as those by Cézanne, Braque and Picasso came into vogue. The decorative arts adopted those styles and geometric patterns that resulted became very popular.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a large collection of work and designs by Paul Poiret who was known here in America as “The King of Fashion.” Art Deco owes a great deal of its’ continued popularity due to Poiret’s business acumen which is overlooked because of his unbelievable design creativity. He not only had a business offering haute couture and high-end jewelry, art, ceramics, sculpture and more to his most elite clients, but he also brought his business to average Americans who could now find good copies of the self-same goods at their local community establishments at an affordable price. In addition to his financial success, he established a perfume and cosmetics company named after Rosine, his eldest daughter and then he created a decorative arts company named Martine, his second daughter. In doing this he was aligning his fashion with other products to create a total lifestyle so his customers and his businesses could all mutually benefit from each other.
If you have a chance dig out a book about Poiret and/or the Art Deco movement. You will enjoy it.
Warsaw City Hall Daniel Trump Photography. Through October. Hours: 8:30 to 4:00 Monday through Friday.
Brenda Stichter, art at Lakeland Art Gallery 11:30 to 4:30 Wednesdays through Saturdays. 302 E. Winona Ave. Warsaw, Phone: 574-267-5568.
Time to think about the 2022 Honeywell 92 County Competition. Want to be an exhibitor at Warsaw City Hall Art Gallery? Very good exposure for your work and good publicity about you. Just drop me an email to [email protected] Subject: Art exhibit