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Art Deco through growing popularity and modern resurgences

While Art Deco rose to prominence in Europe and the United States during the 1920s and 30s, the period from which the movement drew most inspiration was non-western ancient civilizations and traditions. Essentially, it was a reaction to the Art Nouveau movement, which was realized through the use of organic motifs; swirls and curvilinear lines taken directly from nature. Art Deco sought to create functional forms without unnecessary embellishment, while maintaining a sense of elegance.

A blend of cutting edge, French art of the 1910’s and the inter-war Egyptomania trend, sparked by Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen, Art Deco was fuelled by the economic prosperity of the period and represented the exuberance and indulgence of the 1920’s Jazz Age. Due to the exponential growth of transport and technology, the initially French phenomenon was soon exported to the United States and began to permeate all aspects of style and design, the main traits being rectilinear and geometric shapes that were both functional and simple.

The brief revitalization of Art Deco in the 1960s ran parallel to the arrival of Pop art, with the focus being on simplicity of design and bold colors. Hotels in Miami, Florida reflected this through the use of pastel colors and neon signs. Furthermore, the 1980s was once again very reminiscent of the 1920s, a celebration of excess and indulgence, where cocktail bars were once again the prime location for social gatherings.

A modern resurgence was exhibited in the fashion world in 2012, where high profile brands such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Oscar de la Renta, names synonymous with luxury and elegance, adorned the catwalks with 1920s inspired flapper dresses and garments with bold geometric designs and silhouettes in a striking color palette of gold, ivory and onyx.

This style progressed through to this year with the release of Baz Lurhmann’s adaption of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s commentary on the hedonism of 1920s Long Island, New York. The film is visually impressive and remains true to the period, the interior design of Gatsby’s home, specifically the ballroom and master bedroom, are both heavily inspired by the Art Deco movement.

At Samuel Heath, we have launched our very own Style Moderne range, which used Art Deco as a stimulus and draws on cubist and futurist design features, while concurrently introducing innovative and contemporary detail to each product in the collection.

To see our Pinterest on Art Deco click here.

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