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What is Art Deco? Inspiration for our DECO Collections
So what is Art Deco? It’s the inspiration for our DECO Collections of beautiful jewellery.
Comprising exquisite materials and beautiful craftsmanship set in modern designs.
That is Art Deco.
And that is the inspiration for our DECO Collections!
The Art Deco period is a really interesting era with lots of political, fashionable and cultural change.
What exactly is Art Deco, what does it mean?
The name comes from the French arts décoratifs – taken from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes.
This was an exhibition held in Paris in 1925. It showcased new modern styles (style moderne) of architecture, interior design, jewellery and arts.
It was this style moderne which later became better known as Art Deco.
Art Deco versus Art Nouveau?
These are often used interchangeably, but is this correct?
The answer is no!
Both movements grew out of important world events and pushed modern boundaries at the time, but they are actually two different artistic movements.
- Art Nouveau (new art) – borne out of reaction to the Industrial Revolution – spanning 1880 to 1914.
- Art Deco – borne out of reaction to World War I – spanning 1920 to 1940.
What is Art Deco style?
Art Deco style is dominated by straight lines, geometric shapes, vibrant colours and gold-tone lavish ornamentation.
This reflected the sentiment of the time – a confidence and prosperity brought on by the Industrial Revolution, scientific advances, and hope for the future following World War I.
Art Deco fashion
Crisp straight lines, vibrant colours and textures were all important during the Art Deco era.
This extended to interior design and clothes – especially women’s clothes – which up to that point had been tailored and corseted to accentuate the female form.
Art Deco fashion designers like Paul Poiret and Coco Chanel started to use draped fabrics, simple lines, bright printed patterns and shapes.
And… in an era where women’s liberation was becoming an increasingly talked-about topic, women’s clothing started to “show more”. Long sleeved dresses and corsets made way for calf-length skirts, sleeveless dresses and even trousers.
Art Deco jewellery
Less diamonds, more colour. This was the mantra. The era saw a move away from expensive gold and diamonds, towards alternative materials like enamel, glass, lacquer and brass.
Changing fashions also opened up new markets for earrings and bracelets:
- New short hairstyles for women, like the bob and Eton crop, meant a desire for highly designed earrings.
- New sleeveless dresses also meant women needed more jewellery to decorate their bare skin, and the fashion for bracelets took off.
As women really started to push boundaries politically, socially and economically, jewellery increasingly became a way for women to express themselves – something which until then had been highly frowned upon.
Our fascination with the Art Deco era
From the 2013 Great Gatsby movie, the British historical drama of Downton Abbey and the new historical drama The Pursuit of Love, we can’t get enough of the Art Deco era and lives of those who lived it!!
The gorgeous costumes, furnishings, jewellery, parties and extravagence of the rich and famous of the time continue to hold a special escapism for us today.
So, who wouldn’t be inspired to create beautiful jewellery with a nod to the Art Deco era, and that’s exactly what we did!