This week's obsession: Art Deco
Art Deco took its name, short for Arts Décoratifs, from the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) held in Paris in 1925. We honour its name and decorate ourselves with wonderful sleek bold and beautiful Art Deco jewellery.
Art Deco, sometimes referred to as Deco, is a style of visual arts, architecture, and design that first appeared in France just before World War I. Art Deco influenced the design of buildings, furniture, jewellery, fashion, cars, movie theatres, trains, ocean liners, and everyday objects such as radios and vacuum cleaners. It combined modernist styles with fine craftsmanship and rich materials. During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress.
From its outset, Art Deco was influenced by the bold geometric forms of Cubism and the Vienna Secession; the bright colors of Fauvism and of the Ballets Russes; the updated craftsmanship of the furniture of the eras of Louis Philippe I and Louis XVI; and the exotic styles of China and Japan, India, Persia, ancient Egypt and Maya art. It featured rare and expensive materials, such as ebony and ivory, and exquisite craftsmanship. The Chrysler Building and other skyscrapers of New York City built during the 1920s and 1930s are monuments of the Art Deco style.
In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, Art Deco became more subdued. New materials arrived, including chrome plating, stainless steel, and plastic. A sleeker form of the style, called Streamline Moderne, appeared in the 1930s; it featured curving forms and smooth, polished surfaces. Art Deco is one of the first truly international styles, but its dominance ended with the beginning of World War II and the rise of the strictly functional and unadorned styles of modern architecture and the International Style of architecture that followed
Return to today and we are set for a revival of the roaring '20s, not only are most of us ready to come out of this lockdown like shaken champagne corks, and the jewellery houses also have their finger on the pulse of this need to come out and dazzle.
Boucheron is preparing to enter another Roaring Twenties. Trend analysts believe that just as the beleaguered post-war 1920s were illuminated by flappers and speakeasies, so too our post-Covid world in the 2020s will explode in exuberance as we rediscover social pleasures that were hitherto taken for granted. This makes it the perfect time for Boucheron A History of Style, Art Deco.
“We focused on the antagonisms of Art Deco,” says artistic director Claire Choisne , adding that her team paid particular attention to transformable elements of each jewel that allow them to be worn by any gender. “Pure lines but opulent designs; black and white, with just a touch of colour; masculine and feminine.”
The dramatic features of Art Deco took a hard left away from the flowery, flowing features of Art Nouveau and dove into a more structural hard design based on Cubism, Fauvism and the Ballet Russes.
From cubism, Art Deco has borrowed its geometric shapes and from fauvism its vivid colours and painterly qualities. The jewellery is not whimsical, but bold and stately. Unorthodox combinations of stones were introduced, with many designs combining natural materials such as onyx, emeralds, rubies, jade, silver, ivory, lapis and rock crystal with manufactured ones such as plastic and glass.
Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Maison Janesich, Ostertag, René Boivin, Paul Brandt, Raymond Templier and Fouquet innovated alongside artists and architects to develop the relationship between form and function.
The fabulous news is that most Art Deco jewellery is still in circulation and our partner Bentley and Skinner has a vast collection of art deco jewellery which are currently available for shared ownership with Covett. We currently have a curated collection on our site, but all other pieces can be co-owned if you see a piece of interest. Just let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure, you are ready to come out of this lockdown in your best Gatsby party look. Art deco jewellery is no faff, just fab
Art Deco jewellery: A revolution in form and function