Art Deco

Marianne Brandt, Bauhaus Tea Infuser, 1924
Marianne Brandt, Bauhaus Tea Infuser, 1924

Pablo Picasso and George Braque burst into the French avant-garde art scene with cubism in the 1920s. Canvases made completely of flattened geometric shapes and harsh angles were a stark departure from the previous decades. Likewise, the Italian Futurists and Russian Constructivists were experimenting with deconstructing forms to their basic shape. The Bauhaus (1919-1933) was a design school in Germany where students learned both the fine arts and crafts in an attempt to create pieces which were both utilitarian and beautiful. This international trend toward abstraction was adopted throughout all areas of design. In 1968 the term Art Deco was first used to describe this aesthetic.

Below are examples of fashions inspired by the Art Deco aesthetic. Notice the streamlined silhouette, often enhanced with a geometric pattern. Women who wore these shapeless dresses saw them as liberating; they allowed for movement, were comfortable and often were made of practical fabrics.

Examples of Art Deco inspired dresses in our collection:

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