Abstraction


Inspired by the simplicity of sportswear and the influence of the Art Deco aesthetic, many garments from the 1920s are astoundingly geometric. Sometimes in pattern, almost always in form, the dresses are simple rectangles of fabric meant to hang loosely from the body. Connected to the Art Deco section of garments in this collection, we have chosen the garments below as prime examples of geometric form in 1920s fashion.

Starting with Cubism in the first decades of the 1900s, artists throughout Europe and the United States increasingly moved away from representational art and instead began breaking down visual shapes into their most basic geometric forms. These artistic innovations trickled down to fashion design. Rather than draping the fabric around the body and following its natural shape with seams and darts, fashion designers used simple rectangles and other basic shapes to surround and concealed the form. The fashionable silhouette became a series of cylinders rather than a sinuous hourglass. These flat and straight dresses were perfect for applying artistic motifs popular during the decade, especially patterned prints.


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