Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Car and Coat - Part V
Apparently during the Victorian era just about every dress or blouse was covered with lace on the front. Things changed a lot around the 1920s. For one, Sonia Delauney had the idea of making her car and her coat match.
Vogue magazine approved.
We were told that Vogue magazine in the 1920s and 1930s had huge influence on jewellery design. Vogue's idea was that women should have not just matching cars and coats, but matching jewellery for each outfit, as in bespoke. So they've always had outrageous, unaffordable ideas; nothing new there then. However, Vogue was pushing the then new idea of choosing an item because of its brand name rather than because it suited one's features or lifestyle.
The 1925 Paris Exhibition of Decorative Arts was also enormously influential, with a mini-town built of show houses. Items were displayed on glass plinths under bright lights to make them sparkle...pretty much like all jewellery shops show their wares now you might say. This was a new approach, completely different to the prevailing natural styles of art and gothic architecture as promulgated by John Ruskin. Instead people were exposed to Corbusier and Mondrian.
Cubism was a source of new design shapes and colours, particularly the geometric shapes. Also tourmaline crystal, often called watermelon crystal, became very popular. One of my favourite Dick Francis books, Straight, is about a jewels dealer and a jewellery maker (and a jockey, of course); I read about tourmaline crystal along with a whole slew of fascinating gadgets. I recommend this book highly.
Going back briefly to Delauney's work (and her husband Roberts's), they were known for developing an art form, an offshoot of cubism called 'orphism'. I quite liked the look of it, strangely enough. Also, I recently discovered that Bill actually hears some of the inane things I say! I read on some fashion blog or other in the last few weeks (I've looked and can't find it) that some designer has come out with dresses printed with 'fractured geometrics'. The phrase grabbed my attention for some reason and I was thinking it was the most interesting print I'd seen in quite a while. Have a look and see if you don't agree. Anyhow, Bill and I were watching the season finale of The Voice UK and whilst I wasn't crazy about the song or the set, I did think maybe we'd been transported back to the 60s and when the stage lights played across the lines in the dancers' costumes (at about 1.10 if you want to skip to there!) that phrase (fractured geometrics) came to mind again. I mentioned this to him and he reminded me of it when I started comparing it with 'orphism'. See what you think of the Delauney look.