There is nothing new under the sun(including this sentence). But duh- it’s no secret that fashion and design are cyclical and that different eras are often revisited and drawn upon for inspiration time and time again. We are experiencing so many of those moments in fashion and design right now: The general aesthetic of the 90’s- which included recycling fashion trends- mixed with the primness of the 50’s and the luster and forms of the 20’s. But what makes a trend more palatable (or less- depending on who you are!) the second time around in my opinion is the reference point. You aren’t just wearing something bright, you are recalling in peoples’ memory a time where round sunglasses and neon were worn without irony and without the smirk of “I can’t believe this is back”… It feels cool. It’s the same with the peplum: It’s coy and ladylike and sexy because it’s referencing a moment in time when people were ladylike- or at least pretended to be.
One of my favorite things to return in fashion and decor is Art Deco. No kidding, look at my choice of header, right? What is Art Deco? It’s an extremely eclectic artistic and modern design style that began in the 1920’s in Paris. Unlike the preceding Art Nouveau period- during the Deco period linear symmetry and geometric shapes dominated and drew inspiration from Aztec and Egyptian forms. Art deco represented elegance, glamour, functionality and modernity.
F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said that the distinctive style of Art Deco was developed by ‘all the nervous energy stored up and unexpended in the War.’ Every design period ultimately reflects the zeitgeist of the time- the deco era reflected a move from a war torn world to optimism and Jazz Age extravagance.
Deco was widely considered to be an “eclectic form of elegant and stylish modernism,” because it was influenced by a variety of sources. During the Deco period, travel became easier and more widespread, and an interest in archeology in the 20’s as well as far flung countries influenced designers and artists. The era drew inspiration from the world at large, while using war-created machine age technology to create them. Some of the defining features of Deco era design are the chevron, stepped forms and geometric curves (as opposed to sinuous curves). The use of luxe materials like shagreen, inlay wood, lacquer and stainless steel became popular. The deco influence is completely apparent in current decor trends- from the modern/eclectic aesthetic and the popularity of high gloss everything,to the ever present chevron.
My friend Stephanie, the fashion blogger The Mixtress – a new blog about mixing high end and low end fashion pieces to create fun fashion looks- put together the above mood board of her favorite deco-inspired fashions for you, and I put together my favorite Deco- inspired DECOR pieces for you, which you can go check out on her blog HERE and to hear her spin on the Jazz Age and Art Deco.
Skirt: All Saints $275
Oscar de la Renta top: $2250
Zara shoe: $70
Lanvin Golden Dream Swarovski Crystal Embelleshed Metal Box Clutch, $4,500, Lanvin Stores (not available online)
Art Deco Chandelier Earrings $22
Low Luv by Erin Wasson Deco Ring in Gold, $49
Check out Stephanie’s blog, The Mixtress!